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Put Your Foot In It - Tips For Healthy Feet

Mar 2, 2008
Having smelly feet is a common problem but there could be more going on with your feet that is cause for concern. We spend time and money looking after the rest of our body but the feet can too often be ignored. Poor hygiene, badly fitting shoes and lack of care can lead to some serious issues that might affect other parts of our body. Apply these top tips and your feet will reward you with a lifetime of healthy use.

Keep 'em clean
You wash your face everyday so give your feet the same treatment. A daily wash in warm soapy water keeps them clean of any dirt that might cause infection. Pay particular attention to the gaps in the toes where dirt is hard to get at. Do this before going to bed but avoid over soaking as this affects the natural oils in the skin. Make sure you dry them off properly too.

Keep 'em smooth
Hard skin can be unsightly but it can also lead to calluses which are prone to infection. So, when you're next in the bath or shower and the skin is soft use a pumice stone and then afterwards when the skin is dry, finish off with a foot file. Do this on a regular basis to avoid build up of dead tough skin and then apply a moisturiser.

Creaming after cleaning
We're all familiar with the benefits of a good moisturiser on our face and this can be applied to the feet too. Buy a specialist foot cream from your chemist or podiatrist and apply after washing. The cream should be thick and you should rub it in to the sole and heel but avoid the toenails and gaps between the toes. For those gaps, use a cotton bud soaked in surgical spirit to prevent sogginess and prevent the onset of Athlete's foot.

Trim down
Long or badly trimmed toenails can lead to holes in your socks or tights but even worse can lead to ingrowing toenails which are extremely painful. By using a decent set of nail scissors or clippers and following the curve of the nail this can be avoided. Try to leave a 2mm edge at the tip and don't cut into the sides of the nail.

Time to shop
The best time to shop for shoes is in the afternoon when your feet have swollen to their largest size. By trying and buying when your feet are at their biggest, they will definitely fit when they've shrunk a little in the morning and you'll be guaranteed a comfy fit.

Heel not heal
The damage caused by high heels is common knowledge but you don't have to completely give them up. Think about when and where you need to wear high heeled shoes. If it's for work, then wear flat soled shoes on your way in and on your way home so you're only wearing heels in the office. Try varying the height of the heels you wear but generally only wear them on special occasions if you can.

Ask the expert
It's a good idea to visit a podiatrist every so often, even if you don't have any problems, as they can make sure your feet are in perfect health. A trained practitioner can treat any conditions you might be suffering with and advise you on correctional devices like orthotics that can be placed in the sole of your shoe to ease pressure on the foot and realign the ankle, leg and spine.

We spend many hours in the day on our feet and over a lifetime the average adult can expect to walk the equivalent of 4 times around the planet. They've got it pretty tough so isn't it time to treat your feet to a little tender, loving care?
About the Author
Shaun Parker is an expert on therapy and alternative medicine. He helps people that are looking for podiatry and chiropody near them.
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