Feet….They spend most of their time covered with socks or in shoesand are often neglected. Most people’s skin care rituals cover the face because that is what people see. I’ve even heard of people who skip washing their feet in the shower because water and soap run down the body onto them. Who wants a smooth and youthful face with dry and wrinkled feet? No one I’m guessing, which is why I am here to show you how to maintain soft and smooth feet. Don’t worry, this won’t cost much money or require you to leave your cozy home!
Why you should Care About your Feet
It would be nice if you looked better in your sandals, but taking care of the feet is about more than beauty. Neglected feet can develop issues like:
- Fungal Infection- Fungi love dark, wet places, so it is very easy to develop a fungal infection on the feet. Athletes can experience fungus if they aren’t making sure their feet are dry. A fungus can spread from one person to another so you can also contract it from using dirty tools to groom your feet. The fungus typically grows under the nail and if it gets serious can begin to break the toenail.
- Bunions- Many people have bunions because they’ve applied too much pressure on the feet overtime. They are locatedon the side of the big toe; you’ll know because your bone will appear to pop out the side of your foot.
- Corns- Applying pressure or rubbing the feet can cause corns. Corns typically point in, and the skin becomes thick and rough.
- Calluses- Calluses also form from either friction or pressure. Many people that are involved in sports experience calluses on both the hands and feet.
- Athlete’s Foot- I am sure you’ve heard of athlete’s foot. It is a fungal infection you can contract through direct contact. Once you’ve caught the fungus it starts to grow, especially once your shoes are on.
- Dry/dead skin- All skin cells have to die and once they do they may buildup and cause the skin on the feet to harden.
Adopt a Consistent Ritual
Just like the rest of your skin, you must stay consistent if you want soft and smooth feet. Adopting a specific foot care ritual can help keep you on track. I have provided a simple routine for you to make your own.
Don’t be the person that doesn’t focus on your feet in the shower; it’s gross. Although soap and water run down onto your feet, you need to clean the skin with more detail; getting between the toes and toenails. Once or twice a week clean underneath the nails with a cuticle pusher. Be sure to dry the skin completely after washing so that fungi can’t flourish.
If you are reading this article because you already have issues with your feet, then this is your most important step. What you’ll do for treatment all depends on which type of foot problems you are experiencing.
Those with athletes’ footcan reverse their condition by using an anti-fungal cream, soaking the feet in bleach, or letting them air out. Using a combination of these things will ensure you see results. Be sure to bleach your socks every time you wash, so the fungus doesn’t linger in them
Toenail fungus can be treated by soaking the nail in natural ingredients like:
- Apple cider vinegar
- Tea tree oil
- Baking soda
- Oil of oregano
- Lemon juice
- Lavender oil
- Orange oil
Corns and calluses are treated with salicylic acid, an ingredient commonly found in products that fight warts and acne. The acid works because it helps dissolve the thick and dead skin. Treatments are available in applicators, drops, pads, and plasters.
Bunions can be tough to get rid of if they are severe but there are several options. If you want to get rid of your bunions without going to the doctor, first try buying shoes that fit well. Wearing comfortable shoes consistently can help reverse bunions. In some cases, you wsill have to visit a doctor who may offer you inserts, pads, splints, or recommend you undergo a bunionectomy.
Treat dry/dead skin by exfoliating; there are two ways to exfoliate:
Manually- Foot scrubs are used to manually exfoliate. Make sure you have a gritty scrub because the skin on the feet is thick. You should scrub the feet once or twice per week. Foot graters are great to use on really tough areas; if you are going to use one make sure you don’t remove too much skin.
Chemically- Salicylic acid is a great example of a chemical used to exfoliate. Salicylic acid isn’t the only remedy for soft and smooth feet, others include:
- Glycolic acid
- Tartaric acid
- Citric acid
- Malic acid
To avoid dry skin always hydrate the feet. Many people only provide the feet with hydration in the summer because they are out but doing it in the winter is more important. The air is dry in the winter, and it can reallyaffect your skin. Use an essential oil or exfoliating foot cream for best results.
Going the Extra Mile
Change your diet- You may not think what you eat would affect your feet, but boy are you wrong! A condition called gout can develop from a heavy presence of uric acid. Avoid eating too many scallops, herring, beer, red meat, juice, soda, liver, and asparagus if you want to stay gout-free!
Be cautious in public- A virus can enter the body through the bottom of the feet and cause a wart. Always wear shoes when walking around in locker rooms, pools, and showers!
Wear comfortable shoes- There are a few foot conditions listed above that are caused by pressure. Many times people contract these issues because they wear the wrong shoes. Be sure your shoes aren’t too tight so you don’t get Hammertoe; a condition that causes your joints to get wacky making the toes bend.
If you don’t have the skills, leave it to a professional- It may be fun to do a pedicure at home but if you don’t follow the correct procedure you could cause an issue. An ingrown toenail can develop from cutting the toenail incorrectly, causing it to grow into the skin.
Now that you know what it takes to obtain soft and smooth skin, you can wrap your legs around your honey at night without them feeling your sandpaper feet. Your feet will feel better, look better, and now that you know why foot care is crucial, you can even justify your weekly pedicure!