Winter time is hard on our skin and not least our feet. We can end up with dry, cracked skin, itchy feet and if left untreated infections can set in.
So how can we help to avoid these problems? Here are my top 5 tips:-
- Keep your feet clean. However, do not soak your feet for more than 10 minutes as this can water-log the skin creating opportunities for infections to set in. They should be washed thoroughly EVERY DAY especially between the toes. Removing dirt, sweat and bacteria from the feet help to stop your feet from smelling to!
- Dry your feet carefully and thoroughly. Make sure that you dry the entire foot including between the toes. This will help to prevent infections from bacteria and fungi which love moist and warm conditions.
- Moisturise, moisturise, moisturise, I cannot stress this enough! Ideally this should be done twice daily in the morning and the evening Use a good quality foot cream that contains urea. If your skin is particularly dry and cracked a balm with 25% urea is ideal, some examples are CCS Heel Balm or Simply Feet Heel Balm. For general use a cream containing 10% urea is ideal such as CCS Foot Care Cream or Simply Feet Foot Cream.
- Trim toenails regularly to help keep them in good condition and to help stop them thickening or growing the wrong way. Cut them straight across the top but follow the natural line of the nail and carefully round off any sharp corners with a nail file. NEVER cut down the sides of nails and do not cut nails too short, this could lead to soreness and the potential of infection or ingrown toenails. If you have difficultly cutting your toenails or you are diabetic it is often safer to entrust the trimming of your nails to a professional.
- Keep your feet fresh and sweet smelling! As well as washing your feet daily wear a fresh pair of socks or hosiery every day, this will help to stop smells developing. Try to rotate the shoes that you wear each day so that you don’t wear the same pair of shoes every day, your feet sweat in shoes and rotating them will allow each pair to thoroughly dry out before wearing them again. If your feet do have a tendency to smell, which can be worse in the summer, use a foot spray and/or insoles to help to control the problem.
As always if there is anything that worries you about your feet or they become painful then visit a Foot Health Practitioner or other suitably qualified professional to help you.
© Belinda Billinge/Considerate Foot Care