Each of your
feet has 26 bones, 33
joints, and more than 100 tendons, muscles and ligaments. No wonder a lot of things can go wrong.
The toes, particularly your big toe, help you move and keep your balance. Playing
sports, running, and receiving a blow to the
foot can damage your toes. Wearing shoes that are too loose or too tight can also cause toe problems.
Dry skin can cause
itching and burning
feet. Use mild soap in small amounts and a cream or lotion on your legs and
feet every day. Be careful about adding oils to bath water since they can make your
feet and bathtub very slippery.
Corns and calluses are caused by pressure when the bony parts of your
feet rub against your shoes. Wearing shoes that fit better or using special pads may help. You may feel better if you use some over-the-counter medicines, but they do not treat the cause of the problem. See your
doctor, especially if you have
diabetes or circulation problems.
Warts are skin growths caused by viruses. They are sometimes painful and may spread if not treated. Over-the-counter products rarely cure
warts, so you may need to see your
Bunions develop when the
joints in your big toe no longer fit together. They become swollen and tender.
Bunions tend to run in families. If a
bunion is not too painful, wearing shoes cut wide at the toes and instep (middle part of the
foot), taping the
foot, or wearing pads that cushion the
bunion may help. Physical therapy and shoe inserts can bring relief. See your
doctor. Medicines can help with pain. Sometimes surgery is needed to relieve the pressure and repair the toe
Hammertoe is caused by a shortening of the
tendons that control toe movements. The toe knuckle grows and pulls the toe back. Over time, the
joint gets bigger and stiffens as it rubs against shoes. This can affect your balance. More space in the shoe or stocking can help. In very serious cases, surgery may be needed.
calcium bumpsthat grow on bones of your
feet. They are caused by stress on the
feet. Standing for long periods of time, wearing badly fitting shoes, or being overweight can make
spurs worse. Sometimes
spurs are painless. At other times, they can hurt. Treatments for
foot supports, heel pads, and heel cups. Sometimes surgery is needed.
feet may be a sign of more serious health problems. If you continue to have swollen
ankles, see your
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