Valentine’s Day: A Great Time to Treat One’s Feet

Valentine’s Day: A Great Time to Treat One’s Feet


The California Podiatric Medical Association provides tips to pamper feet this Valentine’s Day.


“Your feet will bring you to where your heart is.”  Irish Proverb

 Hooves, dogs, clodhoppers, boxcars, and gunboats - these are just a few of the names given to one of nature’s wonders, human foot. 


Jenny Yu, DPM

A bioengineered marvel marrying the mechanical complexity and precision of a Swiss watch with the structural strength of a cantilever bridge, the human foot is indeed a wonder! Each foot contains 26 bones (one-quarter of all the bones in the human body), 33 joints, and more than 100 ligaments and tendons, all linked and served by a vast network of nerves, muscles, blood vessels, soft tissue, and skin, all working in unison to provide the support, strength, flexibility, and resiliency needed for performing things most take for granted, such as standing, balancing, walking, running and jumping.

“Feet are often an afterthought,” said California Podiatric Medical Association Director Jenny Yu, DPM, a podiatric physician and surgeon in private practice in San Leandro, California. “For all we depend on them to do, feet get very little respect. They manage, support, and carry the weight of the body all day, helping to move it forward against the opposing forces of gravity. In order to respond and react to constantly changing surfaces, feet need to be strong and mobile enough to move and transfer weight efficiently. Tension, stiffness, weakness, imbalances, and lack of mobility in the feet can compound any structural issues (knees, hips, back, neck, etc.) further up the body.

              “The Human foot is a masterpiece of engineering and a work of art.” - Leonardo da Vinci

 “Valentine’s Day is a great time to show these often disrespected and neglected masterpieces some much need attention and love,” Dr. Yu continued, and offered the following healthy footcare tips for this Valentine’s Day:

“Massage. Gently rub, roll, and manipulate the foot and ankle to help relieve stiffness and tension.

“Exfoliate. Remove dry skin on heels and toes without using harsh chemicals or dangerous blades.

“Moisturize. Soothe cracked and dry heels by regularly applying a lotion that retains moisture.

 “Exercise. Point and flex ankles and toes to help prevent foot cramps and swelling.

“Pamper with a healthy pedicure. Choose a salon that is clean and hygienic. You want to be sure you’re not being exposed to infectious elements. Ask how the salon disinfects between clients – and be wary of ‘production line’ atmospheres where one client after another goes into the same foot bath. The bath needs to be disinfected between clients for optimum sanitation. Whenever possible, schedule your pedicure first thing in the morning – that means that fewer customers have been through the salon.

“For optimal foot health care bring your own pedicure tools to the salon. This includes clippers, emery boards, nail buffers and the like. By bringing your own pedicure tools, you know that the tools have only been used on your feet, significantly reducing the risk of contamination from other salon clients.

“Watch the heel height. High heels can place a lot of pressure on the ball of your foot. So, if you're planning a romantic night out on the town, wear heels that are less than two inches in height. Bring a pair of walking shoes if you plan to travel by foot to and from your destination to decrease the risk of injury. If you love your heels, make a point of switching up the type of shoe you wear regularly to ease some of the pressure and stress your feet are feeling.

“Finding fashionable shoes that offer superior support can be a challenge. If you’re on your feet all day, you know how important this is, especially for your arches. If you’re having difficulty finding shoes that provide adequate arch support consult a podiatric physician (podiatrist). In many cases, properly fitted arch support inserts that can fit discretely into your shoes, giving your feet the boost they need to feel great.

“Show your feet some love everyday by paying attention to them. One of the best things you can do to keep your feet healthy is also one of the simplest! Every night, take a moment to check out the condition of your feet. Look for signs of redness, inflammation, or infection. Most foot problems are resolved far more easily when they’re caught and treated in the early stages.

Daily foot examinations are critically important if you have diabetes or any of a number of chronic health conditions that involve reduced circulation to the extremities. If you know you have poor circulation in your feet, you NEED to check your feet daily! You’re looking for any nicks, cuts or wounds, especially those that are slow to heal. Developing an infection in your feet can be serious: proper wound care and sanitation is essential for your health. At the first sign of a wound that is slow to heal or an infection, contact your podiatric physician right away. Podiatric physicians are doctors especially trained in the care and treatment of the foot and ankle.”

To find a licensed local podiatric physician please visit

Founded in 1912, the California Podiatric Medical Association (CPMA) is leading and recognized professional organization for doctors of podiatric medicine (DPMs). DPMs are podiatric physicians and surgeons, also known as podiatrists, qualified by their education, training and experience to diagnose and treat conditions affecting the foot, ankle and structures of the leg.

CPMA, Keeping Californians on Their Feet – Healthy, Active and Productive