Teaching Tuesday- Caring for your Feet

Yesterday's recipes made me think that it was time to discuss foot care again. While our feet may not show age like the hands do, they do work hard supporting our body weight, pounding the pavement, basking in the sand at the beach, and walking in ridiculous shoes. Sometimes they have circulation issues, sometimes they are cold and wet, other times they are overheated and sweaty. But, unless they are swollen and achy, or perhapse stinking, they are generallyi ignored. 

Our hard-working feet should never be ignored, but should be cared for routinely, just as other skin is cared for on a daily basis. Just a few simple steps will ensure the health of the feet, the body's support. 

As with all other skin care, good health begins on the inside. Simply making efforts to eat right, drink plenty of water, and to get adequate sleep will go a long way to maintaining good skin health and good foot health too! 

Common sense is important too. Things like, making sure that you wear properly fitting shoes, and that you wear shoes that are appropriate for the activity, will impact your foot health tremendously. It is not healthy to cram your feet into those tight-fitting, pointy toed shoes, no matter how hot they look with that new dress. Don't sacrifice your health for fashion! 

And here is something that you may not know, the best time to buy a pair of new shoes is in the middle of the day. This is usually when your feet have swollen slightly, so buying shoes at this time will help to ensure that you get a comfortable fit. And here are a few more tips that will contribute to good foot health.

-Make sure to dry the skin/area in between your toes completely after bathing or swimming. Moisture can lead to yeast infection/athletes foot, so it is important to eliminate any possibility of that.

-Inspect your feet and take appropriate care of any small cuts or nicks. Some diseases, age, and some skin conditions [may] impact the feeling in your feet. It is imperative that you take care of small cuts before they become large infections, so visually check your feet on a daily basis at minimum. 

-Keep toe nails and cuticles away from soaps, detergents, and hot water as much as possible, and avoid frequent use of nail polish remover, as it dries out the nail bed and leads to splitting.

-Massage and moisturize your feet as often as possible, but at least on a daily basis. The feet are subject to issues of poor circulation, massaging not only feels good, but stimulates and increases the blood circulation. 

-Give yourself, or get a pedicure at least once a week to maintain good foot and nail care. 

-Do not use a sharp object to remove dirt from under the nails, instead, use a nail brush with baking soda as a cleanser. If your nails are dull and /or yellowed you can brighten them with white vinegar! 

-Never cut the cuticles or use cuticle removers on them, instead, soak the toes  in warm water to soften the cuticles, then gently push them back, using a soft, moist towel, or by gently applying pressure with an orange stick. 

-Keep your toe nails trimmed, making sure that you always cut straight across  to prevent hang nails. 

-Soak the feet in a warm foot bath for 20 minutes before exfoliating the skin. 

-A couple of drops of peppermint essential oil in a foot bath will help to stimulate blood circulation in the feet.

-Treat your feet with the same care and consideration that you treat your face and your other skin, after all, your feet work hard for you every day, and they deserve a bit of pampering! 

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