Treat Your Feet The Way You Treat Your Face

Dr. Suzanne Levine

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Let me start with one important fact: it’s not normal for your feet to be killing you. It’s not normal to take your shoes off under your desk, while out to dinner, when standing at a bus stop (yes, I see this often in New York City), or any chance you get. It’s not normal to have feet that throb by midday or for new shoes to hurt and cause you to wince with each step. It’s just not normal to suffer foot pain.

Feet keep moving and so does podiatric medicine. We now have many cutting edge, innovative procedures, treatments, and products for common foot problems. For example, there are lasers that can get rid of nail fungus, injectable implants that can cushion painful soles, and joint implants to restore some flexibility to a stiff big toe. These modern treatments are not only more effective but also often less painful with shorter recovery periods.

The change is truly amazing. Today, we understand that everything you do affects your feet including diet, medication, alcohol, and exercise. This is important news because if any part of your body takes a beating and needs some TLC, it’s your feet. By the age of 50, most people’s feet have logged an amazing 75,000 miles (according to the American Podiatric Medical Association); your car tires don’t last nearly that long.

My motto is, “Treat your feet the way you treat your face.” We all spend a lot of time and money on creams, lotions, and treatments for our complexions but neglect the architectural wonder known as our feet. In fact, you could argue that our feet are as, if not more, important.

I see many patients who look great. They’re wearing designer clothes and fabulous jewelry and, thanks to wrinkle-smoothing treatments (and perhaps a plastic surgeon), their faces don’t seem to age. But they walk with a shuffling gait or they have nail fungus (or both) that makes them look older than they are. What they don’t realize is that the true fountain of youth is walking well, being able to exercise, and having proper posture, all of which require healthy feet and toes.

I have devoted the last 30 years to helping people take care of their feet and I have had the good fortune to work on some of the most celebrated feet in the world and what I can honestly say is the regardless of your statue in life, rich or poor, famous or unknown, painful, unkempt feet know no bounds.

So take it from someone who has seen her share of feet, please take care of them, look after them, even pamper them and, they will reward you with mobility, comfort and style.

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