Unless they’re aching, most of us don’t really think about our own feet. They’re just there, taking us from point A to point B, always reliable and easy to take for granted. We’ll force them into all sorts of uncomfortable shoes, walk long miles without taking breaks, and sometimes even neglect hygiene simply because it seems like the least important part to really worry about.
But our feet are there to keep us upright and lead us through life, and we need them to be strong and healthy. If you want to start treating them right, here are some tips that should help you care for them better.
Proper Hygiene Is Important
The most important part here is proper hygiene, and if you want to save your feet from fungal infections then you should wash them properly each time you take a shower. Scrub between the toes gently because that’s where you can easily get bacteria and fungus build-up, and make sure to get in between all the folds.
Another thing you should consider is calluses. Contrary to popular belief, they usually aren’t bad for us – they are basically a reaction of our skin to external irritants, like uncomfortable shoes or very dry winter air. Our skin thickens up to prevent further damage and wounds, and it can actually be useful to keep your calluses if you’re a professional athlete or a frequent runner. However, they don’t exactly look attractive, so most people look to get rid of them. To do this, you can use a pumice stone and a foot file whenever you hop into the shower, or you could soak your feet in hot water and bath salts to further soften the skin and make it easier for the rough bits to peel away.
If you want to keep your skin soft, you should moisturise your feet. You don’t have to do it every day, but it doesn’t hurt to simply rub some cream in after you’re done bathing. If the skin there is really dry, you might want to consider using an overnight mask – simple petroleum jelly should do the trick, or you could try some of these DIY versions for deep nourishment. Apply the mask to your feet, then wrap them in saran wrap, or simply pull a Ziploc bag over them. Pull your socks over that if you think you’ll get cold, and leave it overnight. When you wake up, you can expect smooth, velvety soft skin.
Wear The Right Shoes
Squeezing your feet into uncomfortable heels every day is bound to take its toll, and if you start developing bunions at the side you can be sure that bad shoes are the culprit. They push the bones into a very unnatural position that’s bad for our posture and puts added pressure on the toes and it can permanently bend them out of shape. However, ballet flats and thin-soled sneakers aren’t that much better – you need proper support and neither of these shoes can provide it. If you want to find the right kind of footwear, go for running sneakers or boots. If you long for something more stylish and versatile, pick something like a Birkenstock Gizeh model that looks classy enough to be worn with anything, and has ergonomic soles that will protect your posture. If you can’t give up wearing heels, then try finding some cushioned insoles to soften the pressure.
Athlete’s foot is no one’s idea of fun, and this issue can be notoriously embarrassing, not to mention difficult to get rid of. The most important part of treatment is regular hygiene, so you’ll want to start washing your feet both in the morning and in the evening and applying anti-fungal ointments or creams to the affected area. You can also try a few home remedies like tea tree oil or talcum powder to help you get everything under control. Wear socks made of quality, breathable wool or cotton and air out your feet frequently to let the skin breathe. With stubborn cases where the fungus just doesn’t want to disappear no matter what you do, you might have to see your doctor and have them prescribe oral medication.
See Your Podiatrist
Speaking of doctors, you should see your podiatrist. They’re the ones that can give you the best tips on how to keep your feet safe, how to treat any infections, and how to correct bunions or similar problems. You should also go to them if you happen to have an ingrown toenail – don’t try to clip it yourself because you might just end up damaging the skin and causing an infection. They can also advise you on the best kind of footwear for your posture, so if you have a problem that can’t be solved with the help of home remedies, schedule an appointment with a podiatrist.
Follow these tips and take care of your feet. As long as you keep them safe and healthy they’ll take you the distance!