In the US alone, it is estimated that three out of four people experience foot problems in their lifetime. Women suffer about four times more foot problems than men.

Here are the common foot ailments:

Many women experience foot ailments because of poor-fitting shoes and high heels, although some causes are congenital. Some common problems include:

  • Bunions - Big toe joints go come out of alignment sometimes becoming swollen and painful. This condition is normally aggravated by wearing narrow, pointed-toe shoes.
  • Plantar fasciitis- is an inflammation of plantar fascia, the connective tissue which is stretches along the heel to the ball of the foot, causing pain on the foot.
  • Metatarsalgia- is pain felt in the forefoot area, often experienced when wearing high-heeled, narrow-pointed shoes.

Generally, feet are susceptible to fungus growth which may result in itching and burning sensations. Fungal infections that develop under the toenails can cause incredible pain while walking, standing and wearing shoes. Foot and toenail infections can be contagious, and may spread on floors, carpets and also in the bathtub or shower.

Heels and Your Feet

Wearing high heels have been a known cause of knee pain, back pain, and foot problems. Because high heels shorten calf muscles, wearing of high heels for an extended period causes alterations to the shape of the feet which may impair normal function of the foot. Wearing of high-heeled shoes causes added pressure building up in the forefoot region. This leads to forefoot pain and the formation of corns. Wearing a lower-heel shoe helps the distribution of the pressure received by the foot.

Pregnancy and Pronation

The natural weight gain that occurs during pregnancy alters a woman's center of gravity. This requires a new weight-bearing posture and additional pressure to the knees and feet. Two of the primary foot problems experienced by pregnant women are edema and overpronation. These problems may causes pain at the heel, arch or ball of the feet.

Overpronation, also known as flat feet, could create extreme strain or inflammation on the plantar fascia. This causes much pain while walking and may increase stress on the feet, calves and/or back. Edema, which pertains to the swelling in the feet, typically occurs in the latter part of pregnancy.

How to Choose the Right Shoe

  • Shop for shoes in the afternoon, because feet tend to swell up during the day.
  • The length of your footwear must be about thumb's spacing from the longest toe to the tip of the shoe.
  • The broadest part of your foot should fit with the widest area of the shoe.
  • Shoes with strong rubber soles and soft leather material are preferable.

Never underestimate the value of foot health. If you get dry skin or notice brittle nails and desire your feet to look and feel better, see a podiatrist to learn more about prevention and treatment foot problems.

Tips for healthier feet

  • Wear proper-fitting shoes.
  • Keep your feet dry and cool.
  • Avoid wearing the same shoes for two consecutive days.
  • Wear shoes in public places, or at least keep your feet covered to lessen the risk of infection.
  • Use a germicide spray on a regular basis to kill germs that may breed in your shoes.
  • Use only sterilized or personal pedicure tools.