Good Foot Care

12  Easy Tips

1. Take care of your diabetes.

  • Work with your healthcare team to keep your blood sugar within a good range

2. Check your feet every day.

  • Look at your bare feet every day for cuts, blisters, red spots, and swelling.
  • Use a mirror to check the bottoms of your feet or ask a family member for help if you have trouble seeing.

Toe and Forefoot Fractures

Nearly One-fourth of all the Bones are in the Feet

Nearly one-fourth of all the bones in your body are in your feet, which provide you with both support and movement. A broken (fractured) bone in your forefoot (metatarsals) or in one of your toes (phalanges) is often painful but rarely disabling. Most of the time, these injuries heal without operative treatment.

Signs and Symptoms of a Sprained Foot

Sudden Onset of Pain

Patients with a sprained foot often experience a sudden onset of pain during the causative activity. However, patients may also experience pain and stiffness after the provocative activity, particularly the next morning. Symptoms may be felt on the top, bottom or sides of the affected joint. Occasionally pain may be referred into the toes or ankle on the affected side.

What is a Sprained Foot?

Is a Damage or Tearing of the Connective Tissue

A sprained foot is a condition characterized by damage or tearing of the connective tissue (such as ligaments, cartilage and joint capsule) of one or more joints of the foot.

The rear foot comprises of 7 bones collectively known as the tarsals. The mid foot comprises of 5 long bones known as the metatarsals. The toes each comprise of several small bones known as the phalanges. Each bone within the foot attaches to the adjacent bones forming joints. Each of these joints comprises of strong connective tissue wrapping around the bony ends and cartilage which lies between the joint surfaces, cushioning the impact of one bone on another during activity.

What is Chilblains?

Occur as a Reaction to Cold

Chilblains are itchy and/or tender red or purple bumps that occur as a reaction to cold. The condition is also known as pernio or perniosis, and is a localised form of vasculitis.

Children and the elderly are most often affected. In children recurrences each winter for a few years are common but complete recovery is usual. Chilblains in elderly people have a tendency to get worse every year unless precipitating factors are avoided.

Severe cold injury can damage the small bones in the digits, leading to microgeodic disease, swelling and sometimes, bone fracture.

What is Capillaritis?

Also Known as Pigmented Purpura

Capillaritis is the name given to a harmless skin condition in which there are reddish-brown patches caused by leaky capillaries.

The capillaries are small blood vessels near to the skin surface. For unknown reasons they sometimes become inflamed, although a true vasculitis is not seen on skin biopsy. Blood cells may pass through small gaps that arise between the cells, which make up the capillary walls. The result is tiny red dots appear on the skin, described as cayenne pepper spots. They group together to form a flat red patch, which becomes brown and then slowly fades away over weeks to months.

Athlete's Foot Disorder

Affect the Skin Between the Toes

The cleft between the fourth and fifth toes is the most frequently affected, with moist soft skin that peels off easily. Often the skin splits uncomfortably (a fissure). It may smell unpleasant. It is generally mild; very inflamed athlete's foot is generally due to secondary bacterial infection.


Athlete's foot can be due to one factor or a combination of factors.

  • Bacterial infection (erythrasma, pseudomonas, Staphylococci and Streptococci).
  • Mould infection.
  • Soft corn (build-up of thick skin because the toes are pressing against each other).
  • Injury e.g. over-vigorous removal of peeling skin.
  • Skin conditions such as psoriasis, eczema or keratolysis exfoliativa.
  • Fungal infection (tinea pedis).

What is the Treatment for Cracked Heels?

Many Treatments are Preventive

The best form of treatment for cracked heels is to prevent them from occurring in the first place. This can be achieved by simply rubbing the heels with a moisturising cream on a regular basis to keep the skin supple and hydrated. Special heel balms are available that contain descaling (keratolytic) or water-retaining (humectant) agents, such as:

  • Urea
  • Salicylic acid
  • Alpha-hydroxy acids
  • Saccharide isomerate

What About Cracked Heels?

Is a Common Foot Problem

Cracked heels or heel fissures are a common foot problem experienced by many people. In most cases the problem is merely a nuisance and unattractive to look at, however when the cracks or fissures become deep, standing, walking or any pressure placed on the heel can be painful.

Anyone can get cracked heels but some people are more prone to the condition than others. For example: