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Problems and Treatments

After exercise, remove and dry out the inner soles of your shoes. Wash feet well and clear dirt from under toenails to help prevent fungus infections. Then massage. Maureen Moon, a Boulder, Colo., massage therapist and a spokeswoman for the American Massage Therapy Association, recommends using a lotion or cream. With your palms, stroke from toe to ankle on the tops and bottoms of feet to improve circulation. Also rub horizontally across feet to warm with friction. Using knuckles, thumb, or palm, rub from heel to toe in a circular motion. Spend more time on tender areas (the inner arch near the heel is a likely spot). Place fingers around all your toes and move in a circle. Then massage each toe and the webs between with your thumb and index finger, also in a circular motion. Examine feet for any problems; treat immediately, or see a podiatrist.

Tendonitis is caused by overuse, irritating the tendons attaching muscles to bone. Symptoms include pain and swelling. Dr. Reid advises patients to follow R.I.C.E. First, rest. Then ice for 15 minutes three times a day. Next, apply compression by wrapping the foot. Finally, elevate.

Blisters are caused by the friction or rubbing of a too-tight or worn-out shoe. Dr. Scholl's Cushlin Ultra Slim Blister Treatment cushions and protects blisters while they heal, and helps to prevent new blisters. Eulactol Heel Balm hydrates dry feet, preventing blisters on the hard areas.

Bruised or ingrown toenails are caused by too-long toenails, too-tight shoes, or stubbing or dropping an object on the toe. If a bruised toenail is not painful, let it grow out. If painful, see a podiatrist. For an ingrown toenail, you or a podiatrist can trim it out.

Calluses are the result of abnormal pressure caused by your particular foot structure and walk. While they can't be permanently eliminated, minimize by wearing comfortable shoes with cushioning insoles. Have a podiatrist trim calluses or you can treat with over-the-counter products. Slough off rough skin with a pumice stone or scrub, such as Crabtree & Evelyn Aloe Vera Foot Smoother. Follow with a moisturizing lotion (Crabtree & Evelyn's Aloe Vera Foot & Leg Therapy or Neutrogena Norwegian Formula Foot Cream). Or try Bath & Body Works Shea It Isn't So Shea Butter Foot Cream, with Soothing Socklets to hold in the moisturizing effects.

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