Your feet are incredibly important. If you think about it, your feet take the brunt of nearly everything you do. We walk on them, jump on them, run on them. We squeeze them into ill fitting shoes, suffocate them inside sweaty socks, and put them in unnatural positions when we feel the need to wear heels. Feet have got it hard!
And while they put up with all of those different things, they also endure lots and lots of impact throughout an average days walking. This impact and use is exactly why our feet are so likely to suffer from injuries and sores.
It is unnecessary to get a costly pedicure or a spa treatment in order to take care of your feet.
By making good footwear choices and spending a couple of minutes every day caring for your feet, you can avoid potential foot problems that cause pain, distress and more progressive and serious foot issues.
Here are some top tips to help you care for your feet:
Spend Time Washing your Feet Properly
Rather than simply standing in the shower and letting the water run over your feet, make a point of washing them properly. Use a flannel or a sponge to wash all around your feet, especially in between the toes. If bending over in the shower to wash them is not possible, find a safe way to sit within reaching distance of the shower or wash your feet separately in a washing up bowl. It is extremely important you dry your feet properly after you have washed them. Again pay special attention to getting in between the toes – this process will help alleviate or prevent issues like bacterial infections, fungal infections, foot odour and athletes foot.
Use the Right Products when you Soak your Feet
If you like to soak your feet for an hour or two, make sure you use the right products in the water. The water should only ever be warm (not hot) and the soap should contain moisturiser. Avoid using anything drying like bath salts.
Moisturise your Feet After Washing
When you’ve washed and dried your feet properly, it’s a great idea to moisturise them. In fact, you should try to moisturise your feet whenever you get a chance. It is a common misconception that moisturising and then putting socks on the feet helps more of the moisturising product soak in than if you simply keep your feet bare. This is not the case. If you use a lot of moisturiser and put socks straight on, most of the product will go into the socks not your skin. So ensure you sit still with bare feet for a few minutes after applying foot cream so it has a chance to absorb into your skin.
Cut your Toenails Properly
Use the proper tools to trim your nails, such as large toe nail clippers (designed to cut larger nails like toenails) and good quality nail files. Avoid cutting the nail in a curved shape and instead cut straight across. You should also avoid cutting them too short. If you are unsure how to cut your toenails book in with a chiropodist who can either cut them for you regularly, or show you how to do it yourself properly. Cutting your toenails correctly will help you avoid infections and painful conditions like ingrowing toenails.
Seek Proper Help for Foot Problems
There are products on the high street available to treat foot issues like verrucas and corns. Verruca treatments available on the high street can be effective, but only if you commit to using the products regularly as directed by the manufacturer. Corn plasters are an effective way to alleviate corn pain, but corn plasters containing acid should be avoided and are not recommended by chiropodists. This is because the acid in the plaster does not target the corn itself and instead unnecessarily destroys a lot of healthy skin surrounding the corn. If you want advice on treating foot problems, seek professional treatment from a doctor or chiropodist.
Get your Footwear Right
- Wear different shoes every day, even if you’re just alternating two pairs
- Wear shoes that are comfortable and supportive
- Wear appropriate footwear for your age
- Adjust your footwear if you are pregnant
These are just a few basic tips to help you care for your feet properly. If you feel you need further advice or have any issues with your feet you feel need looking at, visit your GP or chiropodist.