How to Take Care of Your Feet? Best Foot Care Tips!
Many people prefer to take care of most parts of their bodies, from muscles and joints to hair and nails. However, most of us tend to neglect our feet. We believe that our feet can hide behind the type of footwear we wear and thus, hardly pay any attention to it. This issue can have major problems and significantly affect our life and lead to further health concerns.
As people get older, they are more likely to develop foot conditions due to improper care. According to statistics, “One in three people over the age of 65 suffer from foot pain, stiffness or aching feet.” This rate worsens gradually. However, practicing proper foot care techniques can ease the discomfort and bring positive results regardless of one’s age or health status.
Why is Foot Care Important?
Feet are a major part of our body’s foundation, so keeping them healthy is vital for our overall health. Years of wear and tear can be hard on our feet. Our lifestyle and choice of shoes can lead to injuries and disorders of the foot that can heavily impact our mobility. Foot issues can become incredibly painful and make us more susceptible to accidents like falling.
Three prominent reasons to take care of our feet include quality of life, productive working style and regular physical activity. Activities like walking, shopping and working are just a few of the daily living activities that we do. Foot problems can hinder us from functioning at our best. Poor foot health can impede our working performance. Foot care keeps these problems at bay.
The skin on our feet is sensitive and taking care of it is also important. Our heels are not meant to feel rough and dry. The longer this issue persists, the more likely it is that our feet will begin to crack. This allows harmful bacteria to develop if left untreated for a long time.
Best Foot Care Tips to Keep Your Feet Healthy!
- Choose the right footwear : Finding the perfect footwear for your feet can prove to be a blessing in the long run. Make sure that your footwears are comfortable and have enough room for your feet to breathe and move. This will aid in walking and running easily.
- Opt for pedicures : This might sound a bit fancy but pedicures can be your best friend. They not only make your feet look good but also remove dirt, exfoliate the skin, promote blood circulation and healthy nail growth.
- Get a foot massage : Foot massage is a great way to ensure healthy feet. They work in a therapeutic way and relieve stress and tension in the foot. The pressure on the acupuncture points also aids in better health and functioning of the body system and organs.
- Stretching : A good warm-up routine and stretching can help in preventing injuries and pain in the foot. It also increases flexibility and makes movement easier.
- Trim your nails regularly : Trimming the nails regularly keeps the feet clean. The nails should not be cut too short as they can become ingrown and cause soreness. It is best to cut nails straight across and then carefully file the edges.
- Moisturize your feet : Moisturizing the feet regularly prevents cracks and dryness. It also repairs damaged skin barriers and keeps the feet soft and supple. A good moisturizer acts as a defense against dryness and rough skin.
- Soak in warm water : Warm water can have highly positive and therapeutic effects on the feet. Soaking the feet in warm water for 15-20 minutes can increase blood flow and circulation. Just make sure that the water is neither too cold nor too hot.
- Keep your feet clean and dry : Rinse and wash your feet daily to keep bacteria and other infections at bay. Also, take a clean cloth or towel to dry your feet and rub it gently to absorb water between your fingers.
Common Foot Problems
- Athlete’s foot : Athlete’s foot is a fungal infection of the skin of the toes. It is caused due to fungus in a gym, shower, or pool where people walk around barefoot. Wearing shoes that are warm and damp can cause the fungus to grow and spread. The infection can spread and cause significant discomfort, itching, and even pain. It also leads to cracking, blistering, and peeling of the feet. A person can also develop cracks in the heels or skin of the toes.
- Bunions : Bunions are abnormalities of the feet in which a bump develops on the large toe joint. This can result in the toe turning slightly inward. Wearing tight or narrow shoes can cause bunions to develop. Women are more likely to have them due to increased pressure from heels.
- Ingrown toenails : This condition occurs when the toenail starts to grow inside the nail groove which can result in significant pain and discomfort. It arises due to badly-fitting shoes that are too narrow or too tight and can put extra pressure on the toes. Other causes include toenails that are not trimmed properly or improper running. Ingrown toenails cause redness, swelling, pain and infection in the toe.
- Blisters : Blisters are common and many people will experience them at one point or the other. They generally arise after walking or running for long periods of time, especially if the feet have become sweaty or when wearing unfit shoes. They are raised fluid-filled pockets and are generally not a serious concern. It is best not to burst them and let them heal on their own. A bandage can also help in providing relief.
- Stone Bruise : They are a result of high-impact exercises or wearing poor-fitting shoes. The area between the toes and the arch of the foot becomes numb with occasional sharp pains as if there is a stone in the shoe. Symptoms gradually worsen over time. The treatment includes rest, applying an ice pack, and wearing better-fitted shoes.
Do’s and Don’ts for Healthy Feet
- Don’t wear shoes that are extremely tight.
- Do not share your shoes with other people
- Don’t share your pedicure utensils with anyone
- Don’t hide discolored nails with polish. Let them breathe and treat the underlying issue.
- Don’t shave calluses or burst your blisters
- Do not perform “DIY surgery” on an ingrown nail.
- Do try some stretching after a long day or an intensive workout.
- Do treat yourself with a foot massage and hot water once a week
- Do roll a tennis ball under your feet for better blood circulation.
- Do not wear socks that are not washed