Regardless of age or level of physical activity, it is possible to have problems associated with the feet. From athlete's foot to blisters and arthritis, there are a myriad of problems which can cause pain and discomfort to a wide range of individuals. Problems with the feet are oftentimes difficult to deal with since the problems may have an impact on walking, running or even standing. Here are a few of the more common maladies associated with feet.
Arthritis is an inflammation and swelling of the joints. The causes of arthritis can vary. Some of the more common contributing factors to arthritis of the feet can include injury, aging, years of wearing the wrong type of footwear and being overweight. Two of the more common types of arthritis of the feet are osteoarthritis and inflammatory arthritis. To help reduce the possibility of arthritis in the feet, wear correctly fitting shoes which provide support, make sure all injuries are treated and properly healed, avoid gaining excess weight, and wear corrective insoles for arch support.
Athlete's foot is the result of the tinea pedis fungus which thrives and reproduces in moist, dark places. The area between toes is a perfect breeding ground, especially for athletes who sweat during the course of physical activity. The sweat and moisture often stays trapped in shoes and socks for extended periods of time, creating a perfect habitat for the virus. The primary means of contact with the virus is through shower floors, locker room floors and along swimming pools. The primary indicator of the virus is itchy and burning skin followed by small blisters between the toes. To help reduce the risk of getting athlete's foot, wash feet regularly, change socks when wet, use a foot powder regularly to absorb moisture, and wear open-toed shoes or flip flops when possible.
Friction blisters are bubbles of fluid which accumulate under the top layer of skin as the result of the area being constantly rubbed. Shoes are the most common culprit of foot blisters, especially athletic and outdoor shoes such as hiking boots. Blisters may be quite painful--however, only in cases of particularly large blisters should they be drained with a sterile needle. In most cases, blisters should be covered with a dry bandage to both protect and cushion the area. Moleskin is also excellent for forming doughnut shapes to pad the blister area. If possible, when a blister occurs, try to wear shoes such as flip flops as much as possible to prevent further pressure on the area. Also keep the blister dry and clean.