Your feet are important. You walk on them, you run on them, they take you wherever you want to go, they help you carry things like children and shopping and they ensure you can wear the comfiest slippers, or the most beautiful boots. Feet are also essential for your balance. When it is cold and blustery, and there’s no need for your feet to see the sunshine for another couple of seasons it can be easy to neglect your feet. The problem with that is, you could be in for a nasty surprise in spring. The longer your feet are neglected, the more of a task it will be to get them sandal ready when the weather warms up. So ideally, we should all be caring for our feet all year round.
Everyday Maintenance Is Key
Did you know that according to recent research:-
- 9 in 10 people have some sort of foot problem
- 1 in 5 people have constant foot pain
You shouldn’t be living with any foot pain at all. You also don’t need to deal with preventable or treatable common foot issues like ingrown toenails, hard skin and corns. Although certain health conditions make it trickier to care for your feet, most people can have the softest most comfortable feet all year round with very little effort at all, it is just a case of having a good foot maintenance.
On a day to day basis there are plenty of things you can be doing for your feet. Did you know, according to research, that feet produce around half a pint of sweat every single day? So at the very least, you should be washing your feet with warm soapy water and drying them thoroughly to get rid of all that old sweat. When you do this, take the time to have a look over your feet checking for cuts, sores or other issues you should be aware of. This is doubly important if you are diabetic. Once you have done your check and washed and dried your feet you should use a good moisturiser on your feet to replenish moisture levels. Slather the moisturiser all over the feet then put on a pair of socks, ideally before bed so when you get up your feet will be super soft.
There are certain things you can do for your feet on a weekly basis that will contribute towards their long term care. Although some people scrub their feet every morning in the shower (Jo Elvin from UK Glamour Magazine swears by this and talks about it regularly on the Hey It’s OK! Podcast!) most of us only need a weekly scrubbing to maintain soft feet. Get a good foot scrubber and get rid of all that hard skin which not only gets rid of skin cells, but also helps prevent conditions like cracked heels. It is also a great idea to massage your feet once a week to help with circulation and to help moisturiser get deeply absorbed into the skin.
Every Month Or So
Every month or so it is a great idea to go and see a chiropodist if you can. They will be able to cut your toenails and file them down for you, treat any issues like verrucas, corns or calluses and help maintain the general health of your feet. It may be that you need to visit more often than every month, but a good chiropodist will assess you and let you know how often to come back.
As & When
There are certain footcare issues you should be aware of so you can work to prevent them and deal with them if they arise. There are also good general habits you should get into to ensure your feet stay healthy long term. Footwear is a big consideration for your feet because it has such a big impact on foot health.
Ideally you should be switching the shoes you wear each time you wear footwear so that shoes have time to air out. Wearing the same pair daily can contribute to bacterial growth and odour can form as a result of that. You should also make sure the shoes you wear are a good fit. According to statistics, 90% of women wear shoes that are too tight for them. This can cause bruises, calluses, bunions and other foot problems that are very painful and sometimes difficult to treat. Prevent these issues by wearing shoes that are well fitted. This guide to getting shoes that fit properly from the American Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Society is a great starting guide.
Medical issues that arise with feet are another consideration to have, and something to be aware of so that you can spot the signs that let you know as and when to go to the doctors. Consider seeking medical advice if:-
- Your toenails are much thicker than usual
- You have signs of a fungal infection (symptoms like yellow toenails should not be ignored, Yellow Toenails Cured offer some great advice on treating)
- You have persistently bad foot odour
- You struggle with arch pain
- You have flat feet causing you pain
- You have signs of gout
- You have injured your feet and think the injury may not heal at home on its own
If you have diabetes you should be particularly mindful of your feet. You can read about diabetic foot care on the NHS Livewell site.
Your Feet Will Be Beautiful In Spring If You Care For Them Now
As with most things, prevention is key. The more you take care of your feet on a daily basis, the less likely you will to suffer painful or inconvenient issues. You will also be more likely to spot issues and have them treated quickly. Think about your feet every day for five minutes and they will much much healthier over your lifetime.