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Are the other toes longer than the big toe? 5 things you need to know about your feet

Your feet say more about you than you think.

The length of your toes can reveal future health threats, the appearance of the feet can reveal hidden diseases and did you know that they actually grow the older you become?

Inspired by Prevention, we highlight 5 things you should know about your fossils.

1. Never walk barefoot in a public shower

You’ve probably heard it before. Entering barefoot in the gym’s changing room or shower room is like praying for athlete’s foot. The fungus is stormed by the moisture and it is no coincidence that it is called “athlete’s foot” in English.

2. The foot reveals a lot about your health

Has the hair on the toe suddenly disappeared? Or is the skin suddenly thinner and more shiny? Then it may be a sign that something is wrong. Including poor circulation as a result of atherosclerosis in the legs. This can in the worst case lead to heart problems or strokes. Extremely dry skin and wounds that refuse healing can be undiagnosed diabetes.

3. Which toe is the longest?

The most common foot shape is the so-called “Egyptian foot” where the big toe is the longest toe of the foot. But for less than 10 percent of the world’s population this is not true. For those with “Greek foot” it is instead toe number two, or the pector, which is furthest.

Unfortunately, this is linked to a number of health problems.

You may, among other things, suffer from a so-called hammer joint, where one or more toes is curved, and also risks back problems.

This because the balance of the foot becomes different. Therefore, be careful about the shoes you choose because the trouble may be worse.

4. Your feet grow

No, there is no point of view. Your feet can actually grow bigger with age – both in length and width.

The reason is that tendons and ligaments between the legs of the foot lose elasticity. You may therefore need to measure your feet as often as once a year to find the right shoes.

5. Look out for nail fungus!

Are your toenails discolored and thick? Then there is the risk that you suffer from nail fungus. Fortunately, it’s possible to cure, but the risk of recurrence is high so you do the right to take care of your toenails with appropriate creams to prevent it.

Be sure to keep your feet dry and stay away from sweaty socks.

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5 things you need to know next time you buy shoes

Always try three sizes when shopping to your feet!

1. A heel may be too high

If you can not go in high heels. Do not choose high heels!

2. Always buy shoes at the end of the day

You should always shop for shoes in the afternoon when your feet are swollen. It’s the best way to get the right size on your shoes. Otherwise, the risk of becoming too small when your feet get hot.

3. Invest in your shoes

It’s not about having to buy badly expensive designer shoes. But the budget variables will break fast and it may even be harmful for your feet to go in if the quality is not good. So put some extra slings on your shoes so you get good quality that lasts a long time.

4. Test at least three sizes

Just because you have 38 in a pair of shoes does not mean you have 38 in all shoes. It may differ depending on the model and the brand. So, as usual, always try the size you usually have, as well as a smaller and one larger, before you decide.

5. Convenience IS more important than appearance

Actually. It does not matter how sweet the shoes are if you have a footache every time you have them on you. Then it will not be fun to wear them or look particularly sweet.

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Podiatry in Malta – what you need to know!

Podiatry in Malta is still a relatively new profession. From the start, the Department of Health decided to adopt the term Podology in keeping with the rest of Europe, except for the United Kingdom in which the term Chiropodist was used. The Department of Health – the main health-regulating body within the Government of Malta – organised the first course in Podology. The School of Medical Podology opened its doors to the first batch of students on 20th December, 1982.The school was the brainchild of the late Professor John Buontempo, who was one of the only two chiropodists practicing on the island.

From the beginning, a high academic level was maintained, with the Podology students often sitting for the same lectures as medical students. Prof Buontempo retired, because of health reasons, to be replaced by a British chiropodist of South African descent, Mr M.M. Chetty, who had been sent over by the Commonwealth Secretariat for the purpose of finishing the course.

During early 1985, the students had their first clinical exposure at the Skin Outpatients, Boffa Hospital, where a Podology Service was first provided. However, it was in late 1985, under Mr Chetty’s directions, that the Podology Department was initially set up. It was a hurried affair, in a large room adjacent to the Dental Department on the second floor of the Outpatients’ Block at St Luke’s Hospital. The room was divided into four cubicles with a central reception and a small staff room. Word quickly spread, and a healthy turnout of clients ensued.

The first batch of nine students qualified in March 1986. These were hurriedly employed by the Health Department and a second course was started. From the beginning, Podology was a profession by Maltese law, represented by two podologists on the Board of Professions supplementary to Medicine.

It was soon realised that the premises of the Podology Department were quite small, so a couple of years later new premises were made available. Because of Malta’s high incidence of Diabetes, a Diabetes Foot Clinic was started which also became very busy.

In 1989, Mr Chetty’s contract expired and his place was taken by Mr Alfred Gatt in 1990, who took the post of Principal Podologist. The Service expanded, being offered to all Government Hospitals, including St Vincent de Paule Residence, Boffa Hospital, Mt Carmel Hospital and Gozo General Hospital. Clinics at the major Health Centres were set up. This move to the community was so successful that in 1994 the whole department was shifted over to the Primary Health Care Department. By the year 2000, all the Health Centres in Malta boasted at least one Podology Clinic, with several having even two. A Rheumatology Foot Clinic was also set up at the Medical Out Patients department and the latest addition, since January 2002, a Podogeriatric team at St Vincent de Paule Residence, which is the central hub supplying podiatry services to all government old peoples’ homes.

The current Podology Department is situated at the B’Kara Civic Centre with Mr Alfred Gatt as Manager Podology Services and Mr Andrew Scicluna, Principal Podologist, heading the new Podogeriatric Service. There are also five Assistant Principals and a number of Senior Podologist in the Podology hierarchy.

Podiatry has grown – nowadays the Department alone handles over 60,000 cases annually. There are 34 podologists employed by the Health Department & a few working privately on a full- time basis.