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5 Most Common Foot Ailments in America

According to a 2012 survey from the Institute for Preventative Foot Health, 78% of adults aged 21 and over have experienced problems with their feet. Those deemed ‘very overweight’ according to their body mass index (BMI) were 51% more likely to rate their foot health as being fair to poor, showing that there is a direct correlation between poor foot health and a high BMI. However, there were some foot-related ailments that topped the rest to reveal themselves as being the most common conditions, but what were they?

1. Sprained Ankle

A sprain can happen when a ligament is twisted, torn or stretched and it is usually the result of excessive force during strenuous activity, like exercise. The symptoms include pain, swelling and potentially loss of movement in the affected area. Sprains can be treated at home using ice and compression, but if it’s really severe you should contact a podiatrist for treatment advice.

2. Calluses

Calluses are often yellow in colour and develop most commonly on the feet, although you can also get them on your hands. They are a growth of hard, thick skin and occur as a result of excessive pressure or friction. They are common in women who often wear high heels, and generally occur on the ball of the foot as this is the area that takes the most pressure. You can prevent calluses by regularly moisturising your feet with a foot cream and buffing away hard skin with a pumice stone.

3. Blisters

Blisters on the feet are usually caused by friction from ill-fitting shoes or excessive walking or running. Most blisters don’t require medical attention and should heal on their own. However if you suspect a blister is infected, or it’s unusually painful, then contact your doctor as a matter of precaution.

4. Sore/Aching Feet

A day at work, a shopping trip or a gym session can all result in sore and aching feet, and it’s an extremely common problem that’s usually nothing serious if you only experience it every once in a while. If the pain is intense and localised, check out this interactive foot pain identifier to check if pain in a particular area could be something more serious.

5. Cracked Heels

Cracks in the skin on your heels usually occur when the heel is incredibly dry, but if the skin is too soft and wet, you could suffer the same problem. Using a foot cream can help prevent and cure cracked heels, so it’s something you should use regularly.

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