We tend to undermine the feet in the rush of day-to-day living. The feet remain the most neglected part of our body and foot care the prerogative of the few who have time on their hands.
We may not realise the importance of taking care of our feet but as the years go by and age catches up, our feet are sure to show signs of neglect.
How do foot problems arise?
Shoes were crafted initially with the aim of protecting the feet from dirt and harm. Now, shoes not only speak of a person’s status, but also his/ her taste and fashion statement.
High heels, wrong footwear, negligence in foot care and hygiene, obesity, calcium deficiency are some of the culprits that cause problems for the feet. While a doctor can give the right advice to tackle obesity and calcium deficiency, a simple regime can be followed to pamper our feet. Routine pedicures at a beauty parlour or at home is a must.
Home Made Foot Spa
Here is what you can do at home. Soak your feet in warm water for about 10 minutes. Add a dash of shampoo or liquid soap. Use an old toothbrush to rub the edges, in between the fingers of your feet, on your toes and ankles.
If you have a pedicure kit, nothing like it. Otherwise, rub the old toothbrush over your toenails to remove dead skin. Or gently rub a pumice stone on the sides of your feet.
Finally apply a foot scrub and massage thoroughly and dip your feet back into the warm water. If you don’t have a foot scrub, make one at home.
Use any fruit peel: banana, papaya etc and put a teaspoon of sugar on it. Then rub it gently on your feet. Or you could also add a teaspoon of sugar and lotion in 1:1 ratio and massage well on your feet.
Once done, remove both feet from the water and dry with a towel.
Do’s and Don’ts
You can cut your nails before or after the pedicure and then apply a lotion at the end. Wear fresh socks. Avoid tight shoes and socks, which make you uncomfortable. If you’re going to be outdoors for long, apply some talcum powder on your feet before wearing your socks. This will help absorb the sweat and minimise feet odour. Never walk barefoot at home. Wear slippers, as these will prevent feet from cracking. Apply lotion on your feet at night before going to bed. This will keep your feet soft and prevent cracking.
Trimming your toenails regularly is a must for personal hygiene. Dirt, germs etc can accumulate in the crevices and gaps between the skin and the nail. At times, too long a nail can curve inward and dig into the flesh if a person with long toe nails, wears closed shoes continuously.
If there are any warts, corns or any pain that you experience for a while, it’s best to visit a dermatologist for the same. Never neglect your feet; for thanks to them they take you wherever you wish to go.
Published in The Hindu, 20th January, 2007.