National Foot Health Awareness Month: 5 Tips to Look After Your Feet
Mar 30 , 2022
Tags - National Foot Health Awareness Month /Tips to Look After Your Feet
This month is National Foot Health Awareness Month, and that means it's time to start thinking about how to take care of your feet.
Many people are now following the "10,000 steps a day" rule, which is roughly the same as walking 5 miles.
And when you think of doing this every day, plus your other daily activities and factors like ill-fitted shoes - your feet are bound to feel tired, achy and sore every now and then.
But when you neglect your feet and not look after them properly, this could lead to worse problems and by then be too late.
To avoid this from happening, here are 5 tips to keep your feet healthy and pain-free!
1. Daily Clean
Even dogs need to get their mucky paws cleaned and so do you!
You should wash your feet every day with soap and water, making sure to scrub between the toes.
Regularly washing your feet can help prevent irritation, which can lead to calluses and cracks. It might also protect you from bacterial infections such as nail fungus and athlete's foot.
Both hot showers and baths are wonderful after a long day. But just don't keep sitting in the bathtub for too long because, the longer you soak your feet, the more likely it is that you will remove too many of the skin's natural oils, which can result in dryness.
2. Soft and Smooth
Don't just wait for the next time you go for a pedicure, make sure you moisturise your feet everyday too.
More than any other body part, your feet dry out more readily. This is due to the fact that they are home to a large number of sweat glands that release moisture, in contrast to very few oil glands, which keep moisture in.
This can be caused by a variety of things, including living in a dry climate or bathing in very hot water for an extended period of time.
Dryness, of course, can lead to rough feet; the issue is more than simply aesthetic. Dryness may also cause cracks that can be painful and infected over time.
It's a fantastic time to moisturise once you've washed your feet, when they're still somewhat soft and moist.
Even if you don't want anything fancy or particularly fragrant, that is not your preference. Look for moisturisers that have the following:
These are super effective at exfoliating dead, dry skin.
One thing though: lathering in between your toes is not a good idea as moisture is more likely to collect here than other areas of the feet, and an excess amount of moisture can cause skin conditions.
3. Trim Toenails Properly
Okay so I know trimming your toenails sounds like common sense, but there are ways you can do this wrong and this can be a problem.
First of all, get the right tool for the job; big clippers are made for toenails whereas smaller ones are made for fingernails.
Sometimes, using the smaller ones on thick toenails can require more individual cuts, and this can make your nails jagged.
And if you catch a jagged end against your sock - it could rip your nail off (ouch!).
When trimming your toenails, aim for a somewhat straight-across cut and leave some white at the edge; when you make a too-round or too-close cut, the nail bed can get damaged.
And it can also make your nails curve more when they grow, which can result in an ingrown toenail.
Finally, if your toenails are particularly thick, it may be easier to trim them after they've been washed and the nails are softer.
However, you don't want them too soft. This might lead to tearing and discomfort, so if they're easy to cut whilst they're dry, always opt for that instead.
4. Keep The Sweat Away
While our feet can produce a lot of sweat, it's not good for them to have that moisture trapped against their skin for lengthy periods.
When your feet are sweaty, they might be smelly. To avoid odour, try adding a few drops of peppermint extract to a foot bath before soaking; it will help mask unpleasant odours and make your feet smell fresh!
But sometimes, foot odour might be a sign of infections - bacteria loves damp, dark places like sweaty shoes.
If your socks get wet with sweat throughout the day, bring a dry pair of socks to change into when you can.
It's healthier for your feet and far more pleasant for you! You should also give your shoes plenty of time to dry out.
Wearing the same pair of shoes day in and day out allows fungus to grow. Swap pairs at least once a day, and allow at least 24 hours for each pair before wearing them again.
5. The Right Shoes
Wearing shoes that don't fit properly causes the majority of foot problems.
When it comes to finding the perfect pair of shoes, there are several factors to consider.
The most significant features to look for when purchasing footwear include good fit and adequate support. Good foot support will keep your feet stable and help prevent fatigue.
By good fit, this means:
- The ball of your foot should fit comfortably in the widest portion of the shoes
- There should be extra room in the back for heel slippage
- You want at least a finger's width of space between your toes and the front of the shoe
When shopping for shoes, it's best to try them on in the afternoon.
The reason being, is throughout the day your feet will naturally swell, so shopping when they're at their largest will always ensure they'll be comfortable.
You might be able to get away with wearing a pair of shoes that fits poorly once or twice, but in the long-term, ill-fitted shoes can leave you prone to a number of foot complications, such as blisters, corns, bunions or plantar fasciitis.
The Bottom Line
It’s easy to take your feet for granted - until you have a problem. But your feet get you where you want to go, help you stay fit through physical activity and give you the freedom of movement, so it’s important you look after them properly.
Hopefully, these tips above will help you improve and maintain your foot health, keeping your feet happy and pain-free!
Please get in touch to find out more.
In the meantime, take a look at our range of comfortable shoes here.
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