Our feet are the workhorses that carry us throughout the day, often getting crammed into uncomfortable shoes and taking a beating on various terrains. Yet, we rarely give them the attention they deserve. A regular self-examination of your feet is a simple yet effective way to catch any potential problems early on.

Here’s a quick guide to keeping your feet happy and healthy with a self-exam:

Find a Well-Lit Spot: Grab a chair and settle in a well-lit area. Good lighting is crucial for spotting any changes in your skin or nails.

Visual Inspection: With one foot resting on your opposite knee, begin by giving your foot a good look-over. Check the tops, bottoms, and sides of your foot for any cuts, cracks, swelling, discoloration, or changes in nail appearance. Don’t forget to spread your toes and inspect the often-neglected areas between them.

Mirror, Mirror on the Wall: If you have limited flexibility or simply want a better look at the soles of your feet, a mirror becomes your best friend. Prop it up at an angle so you can easily see the undersides of your feet.

Feel for the Feels: Once you’re done with the visual inspection, it’s time to get tactile. Gently feel all over your foot, including the tops, bottoms, and in between your toes. Notice any areas of tenderness, pain, or unusual bumps.

Wiggle It, Jiggle It: Movement is another way to assess your foot health. Gently wiggle your toes and rotate your ankles in both directions. Pay attention to any pain or stiffness you experience during these movements.

Temperature Check: While feeling your feet, pay attention to any temperature variations. Coldness might indicate circulation issues, while hot spots could be a sign of inflammation.

Know When to See a Doc

Early detection is key! If you notice any of the following during your self-exam, it’s best to schedule an appointment with your doctor or podiatrist:

  • Cuts or wounds that don’t heal within a reasonable time
  • Discoloration of the skin or nails
  • Ingrown toenails
  • Pain, swelling, or redness
  • Corns or calluses that become painful
  • Numbness or tingling

Bonus Tip: Make foot self-exams a part of your regular routine. A good time might be after a shower or bath when your feet are clean and softened.

By incorporating these simple steps into your routine, you can keep your feet healthy and happy for miles to come!

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