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Tips for healthy feet

Keep your feet looking and feeling good with these great foot care ideas

Author: Jane Cooper July 5 2007

pampered feet

Feet are one of the most used and at the same time most neglected part of our bodies. On average our feet walk 10,000 steps a day, so during an average lifetime a person will have walked around the planet more than four times. And with approximately 250,000 sweat glands, feet can excrete as much as half a pint of moisture daily.

Is it any wonder that we hide them away when in reality we should be taking care of them on a daily basis?

Basic foot care rules

Here are a few basic rules on how to look after your feet:

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  • Wash your feet daily and dry them thoroughly especially between the toes.
  • Cut and file your nails straight across, avoid cutting down the corners as this can lead to in-growing toenails.
  • Apply moisturiser daily but avoid putting it between your toes.
  • Removal of hard skin should be done gently with a pumice stone or a skin file but do not remove hard skin from a jointed area; seek advice from a chiropodist.
  • When purchasing new shoes go in the afternoon when feet are a little larger and make sure that the shoes fit well. High heels and pointed shoes may be more glamorous, but try to limit wearing them to special occasions.

As well as the basic rules for looking after feet, there are products and other ways of keeping our feet soft and healthy

Over the counter products

There are a wide range of foot care products available ranging from foot deodorants to insoles and cures for foot infections. Many of these are tried-and-tested products that have been on the market for many years, and there are also generic variations of branded products available in supermarkets that can provide the same results for less money.

A personal favourite of mine is The Body Shop range of moisturisers that softens feet and include peppermint in their ingredients for its cooling effect. In this range are the Peppermint Cooling Foot Soak, Peppermint Cooling Foot Lotion and Peppermint Cooling Foot Spray.

They all have a slight aroma of peppermint, and the products work nicely together to make your feet clean, soft and smelling fresh. I prefer to use the Peppermint Cooling Foot Soak first, then rub on the Foot Lotion, which absorbs into the skin quick and makes feet very soft.

The Peppermint Cooling Foot Spray.is very refreshing to the feet and is especially good on a hot day. My tip: keep it refrigerated – the extra cold feels great!

These products can be brought from The Body Shop or online, they cost £7.00 for the Peppermint Cooling Foot Soak, £8.00 for the Peppermint Cooling Foot Lotion and £5.00 for the Peppermint Foot Spray.

Homemade foot scrubs and pastes

The internet is full of recipes for so-called foot scrubs or foot pastes. These concoctions are created out of ingredients you will typically have in your kitchen, and are rubbed on to the feet to exfoliate and soften them. After washing off the paste, typically you oil your feet to finish the treatment (making sure you put on cotton socks afterwards so you don’t slide around the room like Torville and Dean!).

Here is a favourite recipe of mine: 2 parts coarse oatmeal, 2 parts chickpea flour (found in Indian grocery shops), 1 part rose water and a little warm water to bind into a paste.

Massage this paste into your feet, paying attention to areas where the skin is hard, then rinse off with warm water. Pat feet dry and apply coconut oil or even olive oil if you are allergic to nuts.

Overall these scrubs and pastes are cheap to make and the ingredients are easily available, but they can be time consuming and messy to apply – so make sure you allow enough time!

Nature’s freebies

Many people will be going on holiday to the beach, so let the sea with its salt soothe your feet. Then have a good walk on the sand (if it’s not too hot) to exfoliate any hard skin. When you have come off the beach, finish off nature’s own treatment by making sure that your feet are thoroughly washed and moisturised.

Don’t forget to put sun cream on your feet though – burned skin on your feet can be very sore! And be wary if you have any kind of foot infection, as sand can get into the raw skin. But those warnings apart, the beach is a great place for those hard-working feet.

So the next time your feet are sore or you see a patch of hard skin – book that beach holiday, in the name of the health of your feet!

Look after your feet, and they will look after you!

There are no excuses for not looking after your feet properly. They look after you through 10,000 steps a day, so don’t neglect them!

About the Author

Jane is a qualified beauty therapist, and owner of the 'Tooty Beauty' salon in the West Midlands.

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