Even though you depend on them everyday, chances are you pay little attention to your feet. Consumers spend millions of dollars of cosmetic products each year to smooth wrinkles, dissolve cellulite, and remove hair. Only a fraction of this cash is spent on pampering tired toes.
It might be a good idea to give this important part of your body its due. If you want to keep your feet looking and feeling their best, try a following these tips:
- Wash regularly. This may seem obvious, but no matter where you find yourself walking, chances are that your feet are near some unpleasant things. Grime built up between toes and under nails can lead to infection or odor. Even wearing closed shoes will not keep them clean. Shoes hold in moisture, sweat, and trap dirt and keep them close to the foot.
Give your feet a light scrub everyday in the bath or shower. Pumice stones can also be used to remove dead skin and keep the sole of the foot soft. If you would like to go the extra mile for your extremities, go to a salon for a spa pedicure. Technicians will wash, massage, moisturize, and pumice your feet before taking care of your toenails.
- Air out those toes. Don’t hide your feet! Show them to the world; they will thank you for it. People who wear shoes constantly and never allow their feet to dry can develop painful conditions. Try to avoid covering them during the night and go barefoot whenever possible.
Fresh air allows the foot to dry and slough off dead skin. Though it may be tempting to keep socks or house shoes on around the house during the winter, make sure to free those feet for a little while each day.
- Take care of your nails. Improper toenail trimming can lead to a lot of painful problems. Nails that are too long can be caught on things and torn off or even pushed back into the skin by the shoes. Also, nails that are cut too short or unevenly can promote infections in the nail bed or ingrown nails. Trim nails regularly, but make sure not to remove too much. When trimming at home, always use large toenail clippers and cut the nail in a straight line. Rounding the edges of the nail can encourage it to become ingrown.
Again, a pedicure is always a good way to do something good for your toes. A professional pedicurist can trim your nails and cut away overgrown cuticles. They can even paint your toenails for you.
- Wear proper footwear. Shoes save your feet from lots of unpleasant situations, but the wrong shoe can hurt more than help. If you happen to spend a lot of time standing or walking, unsupportive, misshapen, and too small footwear can put pressure on the structure of your foot. Overtime, toes can become distorted, the arch of the foot can fall, and bunions can be exacerbated. To avoid these problems, always wear appropriate footwear. For instance, buy proper running shoes for exercise and sports. If you stand at a counter all day for work, wear supportive shoes and request a floor pad. It may also be a good idea to have your feet measured by a shoe salesperson every few years to make sure you are wearing the right shoe size.
Never keep damp shoes on for long periods of time. The moisture can soften and crack the skin. After removal, allow the footwear to dry thoroughly so mold cannot take up residence inside. Also, try sticking to socks made from cotton blends that allow ventilation throughout the day.
- See a doctor about pain or fungi. If you begin to experience any pain, notice severe odor problems, itching, or thickening of the nails, go see your doctor or a podiatrist immediately. Treatments range from prescribed shoes, prescription drugs, therapy, or even surgery. It is best to take care of a developing affliction early in order to avoid serious consequences. Those who suffer from diabetes should examine their feet regularly for wounds and may need to get their nails cut by a medical professional.
- Relax. Remember that proper rest is good for every part of the body. Lay back and put your feet up once in a while. Lack of stress can have all sorts of benefits for your body.
Your feet take you everywhere you want to go. Give them the care and attention they deserve by keeping them clean and choosing your footwear carefully. You can do wonderful things for your feet by making slight adjustments to the things you do everyday. Stick to these simple tips in order to keep your feet in top-notch shape.