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27 Things Your Podiatrist Won’t Tell You

What favorite shoe keeps podiatrists in business? What do podiatrists wish you'd do before your appointment? Here, what your foot doctor wants you to know.

Shoemaker measuring customers feet, close upMonkey Business Images/Shutterstock

When you go into a shoe store, your salesperson should measure your feet

A lot of you have been wearing the same-size shoe for the past 30 years because no one measures your feet anymore, but feet often get bigger as you age.

krit mahawat/Shutterstock

Your feet don't need to smell

You use antiperspirant on your armpits to keep them from getting stinky, don't you? The same stuff works on your feet. Try the spray kind. Alternate your shoes so they have a chance to dry completely, and wear socks. Otherwise, the sweat will promote the growth of bacteria that stay in your shoes. Here's another important reason to never wear shoes without socks.

Man having hydrotherapy water footbath in spa settingKzenon/Shutterstock

Infections from nail salons keep us in business

If you want a pedicure, book the first appointment of the day, when the equipment is cleaner. Those footbaths can be especially germy. Even if technicians spray the basin between customers, many of the tubs have drains and filters that don't get cleaned.

foot pedicure applying woman's feet with red toenails in toe separatorsVoyagerix/Shutterstock

Toe separators, bunion splints, and "yoga toes" may help you feel better...

...but they aren't going to get rid of hammertoes and bunions. You've got to come to me for that. If you have a structural problem, a $6 device isn't going to reverse anything.

Close up of female legs of worker standing near her office. The woman is wearing formalwear and shoes on high heels. She is holding a handbag. Copy space in left sideOlena Yakobchuk/Shutterstock

Some podiatrists will shorten toes or do injections so you can wear high heels more comfortably

But I don't believe in cosmetic surgery for feet. You shouldn't have surgery if you're not in pain, because you will have pain after surgery—that's a guarantee. It has to be worth it. Otherwise, you're asking for trouble.

young girl in sportswear squatting on a track and ties her laces for sport.vystekimages/Shutterstock

Buy shoes at a specialty running store, even if you just walk for exercise

Well-trained staff will help you get the right athletic shoe. They can really analyze your foot and gait. But be warned: These are the 20 things your shoe salesman is secretly thinking about you.

wavebreakmedia/Shutterstock

I've seen all sorts of things, including people who have shot their feet

You really shouldn't clean your loaded gun after you've had a couple of beers. Another dumb move: mowing the lawn in flip-flops. The first weekend of every spring, doctors see a lot of injuries.

Cracked heel on woman's foot, health background to create work about peopleFecundap stock/Shutterstock

If you have dry, cracked feet, try AmLactin

It's just an over-the-counter lotion, but it's like a miracle. Put it on a couple of times a week, and the calluses will just slough off. You can also try these homemade foot scrubs to pamper your feet.

Hallux valgus on wooden background, bunion in footdkpatana/Shutterstock

Sometimes if a bunion is really bad, a patient will ask me to amputate her second toe

I won't do it, because it won't fix the problem. I tell those patients to tell their daughters: Get your bunions taken care of now. If you wait until they get really bad, they'll be much harder to fix.

Vladimir Sazonov/Shutterstock

I don't have a problem with people getting pedicures, but please don't shave right before you go

You might be embarrassed by your stubble, but it will be worse when bacteria and fungus enter the microscopic nicks on your ankle and give you an infection. In the meantime, look out for these subtle signs of disease your feet can reveal.

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Originally Published in Reader's Digest