It is never too late to start new self-care habits. Taking care of your body, including your feet, is essential. However, better foot care should not be time-consuming or complicated. Some of the complications you may develop by not taking care of your feet include corns and calluses.
You may also notice smelly feet, typically associated with the lack of proper aeration. Here is a guide and tips for good foot care as recommended by medical experts.
How Do I Look After My Feet?
Foot care and treating common foot problems such as ingrown toenails, bunions, corns, and calluses helps to prevent issues that make you unsteady and uncomfortable. Care for and assess your feet’ health regularly.
Most importantly, wear appropriate footwear. Your mobility and independence begin with your footwear. For example, pointy toes, support-less sandals, and soaring heels are brutal on toes and ankles. Daily wear can cause permanent foot damage.
General foot care does not need to be too labored and may include:
- Keeping your fit clean and dry
- Inspecting your feet for cuts, swellings, and redness
- Moisturizing your feet regularly to avoid cracking
- Filing hard or dry skin
You should inspect and care for your feet regularly. Schedule a regular time; 15 minutes once a week will suffice. If you have medium or high-risk diabetes or circulation, you must check your feet daily.
Best Tips to Keep Your Feet Healthy At Home
Here are some foot self-care tips that will ensure you have healthy and comfortable feet.
1. Examine Your Feet Regularly
Medical experts recommend performing a foot self-examination at least once a week when taking a bath or shower. However, if you are physically active daily, ensure you check your feet daily for cuts, swellings, sores, and infected toenails. Check between your toes for peelings and the soles for any scaling, which signals Athlete’s Foot. Also, check for nail discolorations, which could signal nail fungus.
Moreover, diabetes leads to a high risk of foot sores and infections. If you have diabetes, ensure you check your feet daily.
If you have a condition known as peripheral neuropathy, it is imperative that you check your feet for cuts and other injuries. Peripheral neuropathy results in numbness of the feet and other extremities. As such, you might have a cut and fail to know about it. It could lead to an infection and possibly be life-threatening.
If you notice any signs of blisters, abrasions, or severe cuts on your feet, seek immediate treatment.
2. Keep Your Feet Clean and Dry
Good hygiene is the foundation of healthy feet.
A foot bath is one of the ways to ensure healthy feet. Clean and scrub your feet thoroughly with soap and warm water when you shower or bathe. Once you have washed them clean, dry them using a clean and dry towel.
Fungal organisms love moisture, so by drying your feet, you will be avoiding possible fungal infections. Ensure you dry well between each toe.
Apply a moisturizer to your dry feet’ skin to improve its texture and keep it from cracking.
3. Cut You Toenails Properly
Most people fail to take the proper precautions when cutting their toenails, leading to further complications. While trimming your toenails is hygienic, you could run into several challenges if you are not careful.
An ingrown toenail is one of the most common issues resulting, in part, from improperly cut toenails. It happens when the side of the nail burrows into the neighboring skin. The skin becomes tender, swollen, and has an angry shade of red. Unfortunately, the big toe is the most affected, which is even more uncomfortable.
Ensure you cut your toenail straight across and not at an angle. Avoid trimming too close to your skin or rounding the corners of the nails. Failure to which you will suffer painful ingrown toenails.
Avoid cutting your nails too short. The skin will grow over the nails, and as the nails grow back, it will cause severe pain and possibly cut into your skin.
It is also recommendable to file any hard or dry skin using a pumice stone or foot file.
4. Wear the Right Footwear
If you are on your feet all day, it is essential to have the proper footwear. Wear shoes that fit you properly since tight shoes can cause long-term foot problems. Ensure your shoes fit well, are comfortable, and have flexible, thick soles. Choose broad, rounded shoes with sufficient room for your toes and a wide, stable heel.
Do not wear pointy shoes, which tend to cramp up your toes and cause calluses and toenails.
If you spend lots of hours on wet grounds, always wear waterproof socks and shoes. The socks should be thick enough to keep your feet warm and loose enough not to affect circulation.
Also, ensure you wear breathable footwear. Wear shoes made of leather to allow air circulation. If you have sweaty feet, buy shoes made of mesh fabrics for optimum breathability.
5. Avoid Sharing Footwear
You can get fungal infections by sharing shoes or socks with another person. Always wear your footwear to minimize the risks of infections.
6. Take the Appropriate Measures to Avoid Feet Odors
Smelly feet are usually a result of excess sweating. Some individuals suffer a medical condition known as hyperhidrosis, which makes their feet sweat more than normal. Smelly feet can also be a result of an Athlete’s foot or different types of fungal infections.
The key is to practice proper foot care. Luckily, there are things you can do to make your feet less smelly. For example, use antibacterial soap, clean, and dry your feet well. Also, try to switch up your shoes at least daily.
Leather and canvas shoes allow your feet to breathe better than plastic footwear.
7. Avoid Walking Barefoot
If you clean your home flooring regularly, you can walk barefoot once in a while. Still, you might want to keep your feet covered to avoid stepping in sharp objects at home. However, walking barefoot increases your chances of contracting a fungal infection if you are out in public.
8. Massage Your Feet
A foot massage is recommended as part of foot care. It can give the needed relief if your feet are aching after a long day. In addition, a foot massage releases muscle tension, alleviates stress, and improves your mood.
Most importantly, foot massage boosts circulation, which helps with healing keeping your feet muscles and tissues strong and healthy. You can use some essential oils to massage your feet at home purchase a foot massager.
9. Avoid Contaminating Infected Feet with Products
Avoid hiding unpleasant toenails with polish. Nail fungi are typically noticed by discolored, thick, cracked, or crumbling nails. Using nail polish on the infected nails could worsen the problem. If you have an infected nail or an open foot wound, avoid using anything that would cause irritation or is not medically approved.
10. Know When to Seek Medical Opinion
Self-treating foot infections or any foot problem is dangerous. You will expose yourself to harm further, especially if you don’t know what you are doing. A professional podiatric physician should check out any swelling, discoloration, redness, or pain. The physician should be able to prescribe medication or a minor in-office procedure.
Seeking medical advice may help prevent a minor problem from escalating into something major.
How Can I Improve My Feet Health?
Foot care is essential to have healthy feet. It helps you prevent foot problems that may happen. If you already have foot problems, proper foot hygiene helps to manage and possibly eliminate these problems. Below are expert-recommended tips to improve your foot health;
- Clean your feet regularly and dry them using clean, dry towels
- Moisturize your feet often to prevent cracking
- Use medically approved products to take care of your feet, especially if you have feet infections
- Check your feet daily for signs of feet problems
- Go for regular feet checkup, which helps to notice underlying problems
- Massage your feet once in a while to improve blood circulation. Foot massage helps to reduce muscle tension in the feet as well.
Frequently Asked Questions
How can I make my feet beautiful?
Giving your feet the care they deserve goes a long way beyond making them healthy. Footcare also makes your feet look beautiful. Some of the ways you can make your feet attractive include;
- Eat well. Consume diets rich in Vitamin B12, Vitamin E, Vitamin C, zinc, and biotin
- Don’t let hard skin hang around. When left untreated, it turns into corns, which is unattractive. Remove hard skin using a foot tile, then apply an intensive moisturizer after
- Cut your toenails properly
- Prevent and treat discoloration before it becomes serious
- Keep your feet dry
- Be smart about bunions
Can your feet tell you about your health?
Yes, they can. Your feet are practical diagnostic tools that doctors use to point out health problems. For example, dry, flaking skin may be a symptom of a thyroid condition. Balding toes may be a sign of poor blood flow. Dark vertical lines under your toenail may be a sign of hidden melanoma. Morning foot pain often points to different issues such as arthritis. If you notice any unusual appearances or feeling on your feet, seek medical advice immediately.
How can I make my feet softer overnight?
The best treatment to get soft heels eventually is regular maintenance and cleaning. However, dermatologists also recommend using a combination of chemical exfoliation with high concentration glycolic acid. Physical exfoliation using a foot file or a pumice stone also removes the dead skill cells built up on your feet.
Which are the most dangerous shoes you can wear?
Flip flops are the most dangerous shoes to wear, according to experts. They don’t give you arch support. Moreover, they don’t protect your feet at all costs, exposing your feet to injuries. Flip flops are acceptable as long as you do not overdo them. Experts recommend limiting them to the beach or pool and not daily walking.
By following these tips, you will soon have 100% healthy feet. Ensure you use beauty products that will not hurt your skin. Most importantly, when going for your physical, ask the doctor to check your feet’ condition and possibly recommend healthy habits and diet to achieve perfect feet.