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The Magic of Socks and other OTC Products to Help Your Feet!

Brandt R Gibson, DPM
Podiatrist, Neuropathy Doctor, Father of 11 and Founder of Mountain West Foot & Ankle Institute
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You may be surprised to hear me say this, but not ALL foot problems necessitate a trip to your podiatrist’s office: some can be staved off with preventative measures and some can be helped with the use of over-the-counter drug store items. I recently came across a piece in the Huffington Post listing their top drugstore picks to help them take better care of their feet, and I thought I’d share them with you.

1. For Blisters:

You know those shoes you own that always rub the back of your feet but you keep on wearing them anyways (Yes, I’m on to your Even shoes like these should really be worn with sockstricks!) Instead of dealing with painful blisters after-the-fact, try Petals Heavenly Heelz, a six-pack of back-of-the-heel cushions that keep you protected right where ill-fitting shoes would normally hit (Of course, you could just toss the shoes, but I’m thinking you won’t now if you haven’t already done so.)

2. For Sliding Problems

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen women wearing shoes that leave their toes hanging over the edge of their shoes (which can cause all sorts of problems!) Soles Suede Insoles will keep your feet from slipping out of your peep-toes and also minimize the amount of foot-sweat you put out, keeping you safer from athlete’s foot as well.

3. For Fans of the Standing Desk

If you’ve recently transitioned to a standing desk or have a job that keeps you on your feet all day, Dr. Scholl’s Massaging Gel Insoles will help stave off the foot pain that this kind of all-day impact could otherwise cause.

4. For UGG addicts:

I’ve previously written about the fact that completely-flat UGG boots can cause you foot pain, but if you can’t detach yourselves from these beloved boots, the Say Hello to Longer Legs shoe insert creates a false, minor heel that offers you better arch support.

Even though this list is great, it clearly encourages you to go out and buy some foot products. But here’s one item that will go a long way towards protecting your feet that I know you already own: socks! And here’s why they are so important.

5. For anyone with feet:

Socks should always be worn with shoes that aren’t sandals, flip flops or other styles that allow your feet to breathe.

First of all, your feet sweat A LOT each day, even when it’s not hot outside. When you wear sneakers without socks, the sweat gets trapped between your shoes and your feet, creating a warm, moist environment that leaves your skin very vulnerable to bacterial growths. This also increases your risk of developing fungal infections like athlete’s foot: yuck!

Second, wearing shoes without socks can cause your feet to be bothered by friction. As your feet brush against the hard sides of your shoes, you may develop blisters, corns or calluses: ouch. And, if your feet slide forward and hit the hard toe of your shoe, your toenail growth may be affected, causing them to grow inward and cut into your skin! In certain cases, ingrown toenails can only be fixed surgically, so this is something you definitely want to take measures to avoid.

Of course, while OTC and dresser-drawer products can help your feet a lot, there are some issues—like bunions and hammertoes, for starters—that you really shouldn’t try to treat on your own (hint: they’ll probably just get worse!) When these problems get you down, schedule an appointment with Dr. Brandt Gibson for quick and effective relief.

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