Taking Care Of My Family

Two Things That Can Help The Feet Of Healthcare Professionals Survive Long Days

Healthcare professionals, from doctors to nurses to a variety of technicians and caregivers, spend many hours on their feet per day. This can take a toll on the comfort and well-being of the feet of healthcare workers, and that is why it is so important for these individuals to take good care of their feet. Buying well-made, well-fitting shoes is the first step, but beyond that, there are other ways to help your feet. Below are two specific things that will help your feet better survive the long days:

Lace your shoes with comfort in mind

Despite all the shoe fastening and clasping systems available, most medical professionals still wear the old-fashioned, time-honored lace-up medical shoe. There is nothing wrong with wearing lace-up shoes, but the manner in which they are laced-up is often not the most suitable method for healthcare workers. Conventional criss-cross lacing needlessly constricts blood flow and movement at the top of the shoe, particularly for individuals who spend a lot of time standing.

That's why it is important to use a lacing style that provides room for the top of your feet to move more freely. The following "vertical" lacing technique doesn't bind against the top of your feet. Here is how you can do it:

1. Completely remove your shoelaces - Take out the old shoelaces and replace them with new ones, if necessary. You don't need special laces, so just choose whatever style works best for you and your shoes.

2. Start at the bottom of your shoes - The vertical lacing technique starts at the bottom of your shoes by running your laces across the tongue and through the first two side-by-side holes, just as if you were tying them conventionally. Be sure the ends of the laces are adjusted so you have equal lengths of laces protruding from both holes.

3. Lace up and over - Once you have positioned your laces, take each end and pull it up the shoe and then down into the next hole.

4. Lace up and under - After making the first vertical lace, grasp the end of the lace and continue pulling upward toward the next hole; when you reach it, push the lace up through the hole.

5. Repeat steps 3 and 4 - By repeating these steps, you will have vertical lacing through four holes on each side of the tongue.

6. Criss-cross lace the remaining holes and tie your shoes - For the remaining holes, use a conventional side-to-side lacing style to provide upper foot support and prevent the shoes from falling off your feet. Finish up by tying your shoes as you normally would.

Use antiperspirant to prevent blisters

Blisters are a painful price to pay for wearing ill-fitting or, on occasion, brand new shoes that have yet to adjust to your feet. The cause of blisters is simple: when the exterior surface of your skin fails to slide with the surface of the object they are rubbed against, something has to give and that is the interior layers of your skin. That means preventing blisters is a matter of providing your skin with a means of staying slippery without compromising stability.

Fortunately, antiperspirant deodorants can provide a perfect antidote by permitting your skin to move as it needs. The main ingredient of antiperspirant deodorants, an aluminum compound that varies depending upon brand and formula, prevents skin moisture from making your toes and feet "stick" when rubbed. You can safely and easily apply stick or gel antiperspirant directly to your feet:

  1. Wash your feet - Before applying antiperspirant to your feet, you need to wash them with soapy, warm water and rinse them thoroughly. Then, dry your feet with a clean towel and immediately begin applying the antiperspirant.

  2. Apply antiperspirant between your toes - Grasp your toes with one hand and spread them apart; rub the antiperspirant on the inside of each toe and also the top and bottom.

  3. Apply antiperspirant to your heels and balls of your feet - Other blister-vulnerable areas include your heels and balls of the feet. Apply antiperspirant to these areas, as well, and any other part of your feet where you know blisters are likely to form.

  4. Allow your feet to dry - Before putting on your socks, allow your feet to air dry so the antiperspirant seals the surface of your skin. Don't use a towel to wipe off your feet since you might remove much of the antiperspirant.

  5. Reapply the antiperspirant - If you have a long day, don't hesitate to re-apply antiperspirant to your feet during the day. This will also provide your feet with an opportunity of being able to stretch and move away from the confined spaces of your shoes.