Some Foot-Saving Tips for Women: How to Avoid De Agony of De Feet During the Holidays

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A Las Vegas female podiatrist tells women how to avoid suffering from burning and aching feet in spite of all the extra walking and standing they do during the Holiday Season.

It’s that time of year again: Standing for an hour waiting for the store with those fantastic bargains to open on “Black Friday,” zipping through the isles of the sporting goods store looking for perfect golfing gift for dad, standing for hours because there is no chair to sit on at those overcrowded house parties, cooking the holiday meals, carrying those weighty packages to the post office, and sometimes doing a lot of this in pretty looking shoes that feel like torture chambers. Women’s feet get squeezed, pounded upon and beat up during the frenetic holiday season!

Denise Tropea, a Las Vegas podiatrist whose practice is affiliated with the Preventive Foot Care Centers of America Network, has some tips and suggestions that can help women keep their feet happy during the holiday season. And, while these tips are important for all women, Tropea points out that diabetic women should pay special attention to them, because diabetics are at risk of serious complications that can arise from minor foot problems, even a small blister caused by a tight shoe.

Dr. Tropeas’s Tips:
Leave those pointy toe, high heel shoes in your closet. She advises that during the busy holiday season more than any other time, comfort should take precedence over fashion. “It is not worth having to limp around with an anguished grimace on your face from sore, throbbing toes in order to look fashionable,” she says. There is more walking than we usually realize going from aisle to aisle, store to store, and to and from parking places that can be a block away from a store entrance. “Wear a walking or running shoe, or at least some other casual shoe with a low heel,” she advises. Snug or poorly fit shoes can cause pain, rubbing, and blisters. If you already have some foot problems, like bunions or hammer toes, they can be made worse by becoming inflamed. What started as a happy day of shopping can end up as a very miserable night foot suffering.

Tropea says women who have painful bunions or hammer toes and say their feet are killing them during the holiday season should make a New Year resolution to do something about that. “There are usually simple solutions to prevent chronic foot pain, and if surgery may be necessary, it can usually result in lifelong relief with a minimum of discomfort and very little time away from work and play,” she says.

When feet get tired from trudging around shopping, they tend to perspire a lot. So Tropea advises you wear cotton socks to absorb the moisture. Cotton socks are the best to keep your feet dry. Moist skin is easily irritated by shoe friction, so keeping your feet dry can prevent blisters and sore spots. In addition to being painful, these irritated areas can become infected, which can lead to more serious problems, especially if you are diabetic.

Even wearing sensible shoes and keeping your feet dry may not be enough to prevent you from having burning and aching feet at the end of a long shopping day. Tropea says that you can treat your feet to relief with a warm Epsom salt foot soak. You can get Epsom salt at your local pharmacy without a prescription. Add ½ cup of Epsom salt to a large pan of warm water and enjoy a relaxing foot bath. But she cautions the water should not be too hot. She says that because the blood circulation in the feet is often poorer than in other parts of the body, heat is not dissipated quickly and tissues can be harmed. “Put your hand in the water before your feet to test the temperature. Make sure it is comfortably warm – not so hot as to make you take your hand out quickly,” she says.

Of course, if you have a spouse or “significant other” who is home when you get back from your shopping spree, Tropea says a slow foot massage using creamy, warm hand lotion can work wonders and change the grimace on your face to a happy smile.

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Lawrence Rubin, DPM
LEAP Alliance
+1 702-233-5253
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