When’s the last time you gave your feet a good going over? At Gentle Professional Foot Care we recommend regular self examination of the feet and ankles to all our patients. Oftentimes your feet serve as an early warning system for the rest of your body with symptoms of several diseases showing up there first. Keeping an eye out for changes will greatly increase the likelihood of detecting problems in your feet and the rest of your body at their earliest stages when they are most treatable. In your self-exam you should assess the following:
- What do my feet look? Stand with your feet together and see if you notice any changes in shape or size. Notice if any toes appear to be bending oddly (such as a hammertoe) or moving out of place. Next look at the tops, bottoms and sides of your feet. Do see any change in skin color, bruising, blisters, calluses, dry flaky skin or rash, redness or any growths on your feet?
- How do my feet feel? Are you experiencing any unusual sensations such as burning, tingling, itching or warmth in a particular part of your foot? Using the eraser end of a pencil trace all along the top and bottom and sides of both your feet. The level of feeling should be the same in all parts (the bottom of your foot may be a little ticklish). Any lack of sensation may be an indicator of neuropathy which can be caused by diabetes or a nerve dysfunction.
- Is any part of my feet or ankles in pain? Pain is always an indicator that something is wrong. In order to help track down the cause of your pain, our podiatrist, Dr. Charles A. Suleskey, will want to know where the pain is and how you would describe it: sharp and stabbing, dull, aching, throbbing. Note if the pain is constant or intermittent and when it is at its worst.
- Do I have good balance? Take this simple test: stand on one foot with your arms out to your sides and your eyes closed. Depending on your age, you should be able to hold this pose for 7 to 15 seconds.
- How flexible are my feet? Stand on a stair and let your heel hang off the step. If you can lower your heel below the step level without pain your ankle is fairly flexible. Flex your feet and toes and try to pick up a dish towel or small object with your toes. Any pain or stiffness when attempting these tasks should be brought to the foot doctor’s attention.
If when conducting a self-exam anything seems off, you should contact our Venice office by calling: 941-493-7999 to get your feet evaluated.