Foot care tips are just as essential as oral care. We use our feet every day and if they are not properly taken care of, they could affect people’s health in many ways. According to physical medicine and rehabilitation doctors, poor foot care can affect, work performance, physical activity. and risk diseases, such as heart disease and diabetes.
Foot care tips you need to know
These foot care tips will help you take maximum care of your feet and skin.
Wear the right shoe size
Forcing your feet into tight shoes is not only uncomfortable but is also bad for your feet. According to Elizabeth Tanzi, MD, co-director of the Washington Institute of Dermatologic Laser Surgery, if the nail is constantly hitting the front of the shoe, then it will cause bruising under the nail, which can make it prone to bacteria and fungus and eventually result in an infection.
Exfoliate your feet
The skin on our feet is harder than the rest of our body, therefore if it is neglected it can become even harder to remove. Dr Priyanka Reddy, dermatologist, technologist and Founder at the DNA skin clinic, Bangalore, says, scrubbing your feet is important because conditions like cracked heels and calluses can occur.
Therefore it is important to at least exfoliate your feet once a week and Healthline recommends this homemade oatmeal scrub.
Mix equal parts oatmeal with rose water or milk to make a paste. Then apply it to your feet and let it sit for 20-30 minutes. Use a foot brush to exfoliate then rinse with cold water and moisturise once your feet are dry.
Use the right moisturiser
Feet can develop cracked heels from standing too long, walking barefoot too much, taking hot harsh showers, and they can be affected by the climate. Therefore, it is important to ensure that you are moisturising your feet with hydrating products, of which Healthline recommends using shea butter and coconut oil. For the moisture to penetrate the skin properly, dermatologists also suggest sleeping with socks.
Trim your toenails properly
Just as Dr Tanzi mentioned, long toenails are prone to infections. However, they need to be trimmed properly because according to Lefroy Virgil, president of the British Columbia Podiatry Association, if toenails are cut too short, they will create their own ingrown nail which is very painful. Therefore, Virgil recommends cutting them across to avoid any infections.
Perform a foot self- examination
You can assess the health of your feet yourself by checking for any discolouration. According to Mona Gohara, MD, assistant professor of dermatology at Yale School of Medicine, the white specks are usually nothing to worry about, but it is important to look out for any dark spots, especially if you are someone that regularly wears dark nail polish.
Gohara emphasises going to a dermatologist for a thorough check-up if you are not sure, “because people are not aware are that you can get skin cancer in this area” she says. This proves that foot health must be prioritised at all times.