Home remedies for foot problems: Easy treatments for athlete's foot, ingrown toenails and more

April is Awareness Month and there is no better time to visit your podiatrist for a check-up.

Did you know that most Americans register approximately 75,000 miles on their feet at the age of 50, according to the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA), a source of information on foot and ankle health? Along with this, the National Center for Health Statistics, notes that the average life expectancy of Americans is estimated at 78.6 years. Therefore, keeping your feet healthy is essential when it comes to ensuring mobility as we get older.

Here, the APMA highlights the five foot conditions that affect Americans today, and some easy-to-make home remedies from Mayoclinic.org that can help relieve everyday pain and discomfort.

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Athlete's foot

What: Skin disease caused by a fungus and more commonly attacks the feet because the shoes create a warm and dark environment that can stimulate the growth of fungi.

Treatment: Over-the-counter antifungal ointment (like Lotrimin's), lotion, powder or spray. If the condition does not improve, a prescription medication that is topical or taken orally may be required.

Calluses and calluses

What: These are areas of affected skin that develop to protect an area from irritation. They are usually caused by rubbing or excessive pressure against part of the foot.

Treatment: Over-the-counter pads (such as Dr. Scholl's best-rated option) can be applied to the area, or simply soak your feet in warm water to soften them and facilitate their removal with a pumice stone or emery board to help to eliminate a layer of thickened skin. However, be careful when using corn removers without a prescription or medicated corn tablets, as they contain salicylic acid, which can irritate healthy skin and cause infections, especially in people with diabetes.

Ingrown toenails

What: Among the most common nail problems are nails whose corners or sides adhere to the soft tissue of the nail grooves and can cause irritation, redness and swelling.

Treatment: Soak your feet in warm water for 15 to 20 minutes three to four times a day to reduce swelling and relieve sensitivity. Apply antibiotic ointment on the sensitive area and sell the toe.

Nail fungus

What: An infection below the surface of the nail caused by fungi and characterized by a change in the quality and color of the nail.

Treatment: The over-the-counter remedies include antifungal creams and ointments for the nails. Or, cut and thin the nail to help reduce pain. This will also allow any topical medication to reach deeper layers of the nail.

Bunions

What: An enlargement of the joint at the base of the big toe that forms when the bone or tissue in the big toe joint moves out of place.

Deals: Non-medicated over-the-counter bunion pads (we recommend this option from Dr. Scholl) can relieve discomfort, while padded shoe inserts like these from the Fab Feet can help distribute pressure evenly when they are in motion. Try to rinse the bunions after you have been standing too long, or if it becomes inflamed, this can help relieve pain and inflammation.

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