It’s surprising how neglected feet tend to be considering how vital they are for physical functionality. Think about it; they aren’t exactly the first thing that comes to mind when you think about physical health. However, they are susceptible to diseases and infections just like the rest of the body. Follow these five steps to keep your feet in the healthiest condition so you can keep doing the things you love.
It’s important to wash your feet thoroughly each day by scrubbing all areas including in-between the toes with soap. Sorry, but letting the soapy water in the shower slosh around them just isn’t going to cut it. After washing, it is just as important to dry them (particularly between the toes) in order to avoid bacteria and fungus from growing—especially if you are showering at a public gym or pool where other people have been walking.
Ingrown toenails are a painful condition that may occur if your toenails are not trimmed properly. This happens when a corner or edge of the nail cuts and grows into the flesh of the toe. The best way to avoid ingrown toenails is to cut the nails straight across. If the nail is too long then it will catch on things and tear, but if it’s too short then it may increase the chance of becoming ingrown. It’s typically best to trim them about every 6-8 weeks.
Wear Proper Socks and Shoes
If your feet are starting to show athlete’s foot symptoms, then take a look at what kinds of shoes and socks you’ve been wearing. An athlete’s foot problem is a foot fungal disease that occurs when the tinea fungus grows on the feet. The fungus likes moist, warm places, so it commonly occurs when feet are wet for long periods of time—such as showers or having sweaty feet.
By wearing moisture-wicking socks and breathable shoes, they will be able to better air-out and breathe, avoiding this pesky fungus. Another important reason to wear shoes that fit properly is to avoid ingrown toenails. If your shoes are too tight, then they have the potential to push down on your toenails and cause them to be ingrown. Try to find shoes that fit well and have good arch support so you can avoid aching pain.
Exfoliate Your Feet
While your feet probably won’t obtain a bacteria or fungus from dry, callused skin, exfoliating can add to their overall health. Callused, dry, and cracking can be very painful to walk on. By exfoliating regularly (three times a week is advised), they will look and feel their best.
Moisturizing is different than the kind of moisture that causes foot fungus. If not done properly, then this may be a problem. When done right, moisturizing will keep them hydrated and happy. Moisturizers containing urea–an ingredient to keep feet feeling soft–are great options.
Don’t let your feet go unacknowledged. When disregarding proper care and treatment of your feet, you risk growing harmful bacterias and fungus and experiencing aches and pains that hinder your performance on daily physical activities.