Take a second to look down at your little piggies and take note of what you see. Are the soles cracked and dry? Are your toenails exceedingly long and out of control? Do your feet simply shock you? Don’t worry; it’s very typical to have these conditions, including dry soles, especially in the winter. Surprisingly, introducing a foot care routine is easier than you’d think.
Find a hydrating balm, toenail clippers, and a scrub nearby; here is the importance of a proper foot care routine that you can do with relative ease. Once you’ve completed nourishing your feet, they’ll come out looking pristine and soft.
Why Foot Care?
As you go about your usual self-care routines, why are feet often the most forgotten part of the body? Since your feet make up the foundation of your body, far from the eyes, they tend to remain one of the most neglected parts of self-care. But if feet get ignored for long periods, they can suffer from consequences such as fungal and bacterial infections, corns, swelling, sweating, odor, cracked skin, and many other issues.
You will want to take the necessary steps of properly nourishing the skin and nails, to make the feet feel more comfortable for years to come. So, take a look to see the importance of a foot care routine and how you can start right now.
Washing Your Feet
One of the first steps in beginning the best foot care routine is a simple wash. As your feet remain enclosed in socks and shoes and support your body while you move around, you interact with all sorts of surfaces and bacteria. The skin on your feet tends to remain susceptible to fungus from the sock-bound humidity and other potential microbes.
All you will need is a gentle soap and warm water, gently massaging around the feet. Ideally, focus on the sole, between the toes, under the nails, and around the ankles. This should prevent most bacteria and odor buildup if cleaned regularly.
The surface of the skin—also known as the stratum corneum—creates layers of dead skin, protecting the deeper layers from external harm and bacteria. However, if the dead skin doesn't get exfoliated regularly, it can create a rough, hardened surface of sebum, sweat, and excess skin. It is recommended that you exfoliate them at least once a month to remove the excess buildup.
Look for areas that look and feel rough, consist of corns and calluses, and have a yellow or white scaly appearance. Thankfully, exfoliation isn’t a daily necessity, but you can use a scrub or a pumice stone to remove the buildup.
Maintaining Proper Dryness
After washing and exfoliating your feet, make sure you properly dry your feet off. The reason for this is that fungal infections like Athlete’s Foot thrive in warm, moist environments. This is a nasty little infection and can cause burning, itching, and in some cases, peeling. If it progresses, blisters can cause significant discomfort along the feet, making it an unpleasant experience.
Cotton and microfibers tend to absorb moisture best, while being non-abrasive, so take either cotton or microfiber towels and gently pat your feet dry. After that, you can move on to the moisturization stage.
The human skin needs to remain hydrated, especially as you get older. As you age, the cellular turnover rate that causes lipids in the skin to stay supple and soft slow down over time. The slower pace causes weakened elasticity, age lines, and dryness. It is recommended to always keep your skin hydrated; this includes your feet.
Be on the lookout for a deeply hydrating vegan foot cream that you can apply to your feet, keeping the skin from cracking and drying out. Frequent application of a little of this will tackle the more stubborn spots. Your feet will thank you later and feel softer than ever before.
Once you’ve completed your foot care routine, post-care will keep your feet looking nice and healthy. Check for any minor scrapes or other common foot conditions such as redness or irritation. A quick observation of your feet will keep them healthy while preventing bacterial or fungal infections.
Also make sure you keep your nails trimmed, remove any foreign gunk underneath your nails, maintain jagged edges, and look out for any discoloration. Anything out of the ordinary could be a deeper issue, so talk to your doctor if you see anything unusual.
Proper Foot Protection
Proper foot care means taking all the necessary steps of your routine seriously. As you learn to care for your feet, make sure you provide adequate protection. It may seem silly, but wearing improper shoes can really affect your foot health. Make sure you rotate out fresh socks, maintain clean shoes, and avoid footwear that doesn’t support your soles.
You can avoid excess bacteria and fungus by not wearing the same socks on multiple occasions. Pampering your feet with a good bath salt soak can do wonders for you. If you have a hard time fitting in a weekly routine for your feet, do what you can in between with exfoliation and hydration.
Does Foot Care Matter?
While you should wear the correct footwear and keep your feet clean, maintaining good foot health matters a lot. The human skin can sometimes reflect what is going on within the body, making you aware of internal abnormalities. If you see discoloration, abnormal texture, or a problem with its appearance, there could be something going on that you aren’t aware of, so make sure that you speak to your doctor.
The human body is an exciting yet mysterious part of everyday life, so you must take good care of it. You never know if you might become at a higher risk for diabetes or other health conditions. So, be kind to your body and nourish it properly. You just can’t go your whole life without pampering yourself sometimes!
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