Taking Better Care of Your Feet
No matter who you are or what your feet look like, it is important to keep them happy. Happy feet are healthy and beautiful (in their own way) and most importantly they are quiet. Unhappy feet complain and ache and make it difficult to have a happy you. Many feet issues can be prevented with a few steps.
It is important to get a good comfortable pair of shoes. It is especially true for those worked in or worn for a long period of time. Also the shoes you exercise in should be comfortable and not cause feet issues.
If you aren't wearing a pair of comfortable shoes most of the time, it is time to go shoe shopping in search of something better for your feet. This can also lower knee, hip, back, neck, and even head pain.
It is important that you usually wear white cotton socks. These are best for your feet because the cotton absorbs moisture best and the white lacks dyes that can be harmful. It is especially important that you wear these during exercise. If you have the need to dress daily, investing in a pair (or a few pair) of silk socks or stockings would be best. These let the feet breath and make it easier for moisture to evaporate, causing for the best possible conditions for the feet, under the circumstances.
A Great Foot Care Regimen
Once aweak a fantastic foot regimen can be helpful. Use this time to relax and to take care of yourself.
1) The Foot Soak- Begin your regimen with a nice relaxing foot soak. You can use this time to add things to your foot soak according to your specific needs. The water should be very warm, almost hot. Add to that water the things you desire to treat your issues.
- 1/3 cup Epsom salts or sea salts to relax
- 1/3 cup of baking soda to kill bacteria and remove odor
- Oil (olive, sesame seed, or nut oils are really good) to moisturize
- Vitamine E oil to moisturize and rejuvenate
- Aloe Vera oil to relax, sooth, and moisturize.
- Essence oils in your favorite fragrance or one that has benefits for your needs (Chamomile kills bacteria, lavender relaxes, tea tree oil kills fungus)
- Tea Bags to help relax and kill bacteria if you use chamomile
2) Wash Your Feet-Keeping your feet clean is very important. You will want a liquid soap (anti-bacterial if you have odor issues and anti-fungal if you have discolored nails or athletes foot), a scrub brush, and a loofah. Using the loofah wash your feet with a generous amount of lather. Using the scrub brush, scrub the nails, around the cuticles, and under them to clear away bacteria, dirt, and built up dead skin cells. While you won't be doing the foot regimen every day, you should still make sure you are lathering your feet every time you shower. If you have odor issues or fungus issues use the anti-bacterial soap or the anti-fungal soap accordingly.
3) Clip Nails- Keeping your nails clipped short can prevent a lot of foot problems. To do this use toenail clippers and clip them straight across. Cutting your toe nails in a u shape can help make ingrown toe nails which is very uncomfortable and painful and may require surgery later. Be careful to avoid this by cutting straight across. Use a file to file down any sharp edges created by cutting the nail.
4) Dry Feet-Dry feet thoroughly. After all, moisture can cause many issues. If you have really bad bacteria or fungus issues (odor, yellow discolored nails, or pealing between the toes) then use a blow dryer on a low setting to make sure they are very dry between all the toes and around the nails.
5) Moisturize- If you don't really have dry or cracked feet or a great number of calluses then you can use a light and refreshing moisturizer. If you are dealing with dry, cracked, or callused feet then a heavy moisturizer or an oil (such as grape seed oil, or a nut oil) may be necessary. Apply your moisturizer. If you have really dry feet then wear white cotton socks to bed each night after applying the moisturizer. This will make your feet soft and supple. It will also help take care of calluses.
This regimen should be done once a week. Other times you can treat specific issues and make sure you are washing your feet every time you shower. Healthy feet are happy feet!
Foot fungus comes in two main types. The first is athletes foot. It appears as pealing between the toes, burning, and itching, and sometimes redness. The other type is toenail fungus which shoes up as yellowed nails, thickness, discoloration, dry looking nails, and often odor. To treat these things the following options are available.
- Anti-fungal soap-Using anti-fungal soap when washing your feet can help to kill the fungus.
- Tea Tree Oil-Using tea tree oil in your foot soak can help, applying it directly to the affected area twice a day is best.
- Soak your feet in Listerine. This helps to kill the fungus.
- Soak your feet in Apple Cider Vinegar and water (1/2 each).
- Blow dry your feet after soaking and after showering or bathing until the fungus is gone.
- Avoid Nail Polish till the fungus is gone.
There are also a wide variety of over the counter remedies that can be tried.
Foot odor is usually caused from a bacterial infection. This usually occurs because of heat and moisture inside the shoes. If you are suffering from this issue there are several things that can be done.
- Use anti-bacterial soap every time you wash your feet.
- Dust your shoes (and even your feet) with baking soda, this helps prevent moisture and kill bacteria.
- Chamomile essence oil can be used to kill bacteria, after a bath or good foot soak you can rub it between the toes and under them.
- Dry your feet with a blow dryer after foot soaks or baths.
Following a good foot regimine, white socks or silk if need be, and good shoes can also help with bacteria, moisture, and odor. You should also check for signs of fungal issues.
Polish can be added for a little extra beauty. This should only be done once a week so as not to wear down toenails with heavy polish, chemicals to remove it, and more polish. You can also mositurize your nails before applying which is good for them and for the cuticle.
Taking care of your feet is important. It is what will keep you standing and help you make it through a long day. With a little work you can have happy, healthy, and beautiful feet.