August 17 is National I Love My Feet Day, a holiday perfectly suited for podiatrist Kenneth R. Wilhelm, DPM of Clifton Foot & Ankle Center! Dr. Wilhelm has been caring for feet in Northern Virginia for close to 18 years, so he knows a thing or two about all the different ways you can love your feet.

There are a million ways to express love, and most of us are doing it every day with our kids, spouses, parents, and friends. But we hardly ever think of showing love to the limbs that keep us upright every day. So here are some ways we can show our feet the affection they’re due:

  1. Keep ‘em clean. Feet sweat when encased in socks and when we exercise. Unless you wash that sweat away, you’re at risk for fungal infections. So wash every day – and remember to dry them thoroughly, especially between the toes.
  2. Go for a dip. Treat your feet to an occasional soak in warm water and your favorite oil – peppermint and lavender are popular – to soothe away minor aches and pains.
  3. Share your artistic talent. Trim your toenails straight across and decorate them with an at-home pedicure.
  4. Butter them up. Slather them – not with actual butter – but with a quality moisturizer, to keep the skin smooth and supple.
  5. Give them some personal space. Wear shoes that have plenty of room in both the length and width. Cramped toes will argue with you in the form of bunions and hammertoes.
  6. Offer gifts of food and drink. Feed your feet with a diet rich in whole grains, vegetables, and vitamin D to keep your bones strong and your circulatory system moving.
  7. Listen carefully. If you stop to give your feet your full attention, you’ll hear the messages they’re giving you. Slow down and rest when your feet ache. If they complain to you of persistent pain, take action before the pain gets worse and is harder to treat.

Apply these loving actions to your feet, and we promise they’ll love you back. But even the best relationships fall on difficult times. When pain and sorrow weigh your feet down – be it swelling, discoloration, crumbling nails, sores that don’t heal, or a twisted ankle, the most loving thing you can do is to get help as soon as possible. Call board-certified podiatrist Dr. Kenneth R. Wilhelm in Centreville, VA at (703) 996-3000 or make an appointment online.

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