Foot Hygiene: 7 Ways to Maintain Healthy Feet
Feet are some of the hardest working and abused parts of the body. They take a lot of abuse, from challenging terrain to long hours of standing and a lot of activity.
It only makes sense that there should be special foot hygiene the same way there is for hands, which are also hard-working and abused. What may not be as obvious is the need for special foot care.
Below, we have a short guide detailing the different kinds of foot care routines for everybody.
1. Keep Your Feet Clean and Dry
Start by washing your feet daily with mild soap, making sure to clean in between the toes and other crevices. After this, it’s important to carefully dry your feet, using a soft, absorbent towel. Then make sure to use foot powder, especially if you’re prone to sweating.
You should change your socks daily and never wear the same pair two days in a row. Before putting on shoes, spray some antifungal powder, and always try to wear shoes made from breathable fabrics to cut down on foot odor.
Remember to schedule regular foot check-ups with a podiatrist to ensure your feet are always in their best condition. By following these simple steps, you can keep your feet clean, dry, and healthy.
2. Cut Your Toenails Straight Across
To prevent ingrown nails, it is important to not round off the corners when cutting toenails, as this can cause the nail to re-enter the skin. Cutting toenails straight across prevents hangnails, which can become infected and painful.
It is important to not cut too short, to avoid irritating the nail bed. When trimming nails, it is important to first use a file to smooth out any sharp edges. Properly hydrated feet are important for overall foot hygiene.
It is recommended to soak the feet for 5-10 minutes in warm, soapy water and then dry them with a soft towel. People should use products that contain moisturizers to prevent dryness and capping.
Regularly checking your feet for any skin or nail issues is also key to foot hygiene. It is important to immediately address any symptoms of nail or skin fungal infection, athlete’s foot, or blisters.
3. Trim Your Toenails Properly
You should clip your toenails straight across and not rounded at the corners to prevent ingrown toenails. It’s important to trim your toenails after a bath or shower when the nails are softer and easier to trim.
Cut them with a clipper made for toenails only, as regular scissors can cause injury. It’s also important to keep your toenail clippers clean, as bacterial infections can easily be spread from one digit to another.
After you’ve trimmed the nails, file them down to smooth the edges and prevent them from snagging on socks or shoes. Always clean your clippers before and after using them.
4. Wear the Right Shoes for the Activity
Shoes should be comfortable and well-fitting, providing adequate arch support and circulation. Make sure that there is enough room in the shoe to wiggle the toes, but not so loose that the shoe slides off the foot.
Use shoes designed for a particular activity such as running or walking. They are designed to ensure proper foot support. Avoid wearing tight-fitting or high-heeled shoes as they can cause discomfort and restrict movement.
Remember to change out of wet shoes or damp socks wherein moisture can accumulate and cause molds and bacteria to form. Keeping feet dry and wearing socks that absorb moisture can go a long way in promoting healthy feet.
5. Avoid Walking Barefoot
This especially applies to public areas as it greatly increases the risk of picking up harmful germs and bacteria.
Wear clean, breathable socks and wash them regularly. Make sure to keep feet dry in between toes as athletes’ feet and other similar fungal infections can develop when moisture remains in small crevasses.
Pedicures are an effective way to remove the thick, hard skin on feet. Choose salons and spas which use sterilized instruments to prevent fungus, warts, and other infections from spreading.
It’s important to inspect your feet regularly for any signs of infections or injuries. Taking these precautions and behaviors seriously can make a difference in foot optimal health.
6. Soak Your Feet in Epsom Salt
This therapeutic practice is painless, easy, and incredibly relaxing. When soaking, Epsom salt for feet helps soften calluses and corns, reduces inflammation, and treats any skin irritations like Athlete’s Foot.
To enhance the effect, adding essential oils such as chamomile, lavender, and peppermint, can provide additional soothing and therapeutic benefits.
The magnesium sulfate found in Epsom salt can help reduce stress, detoxify, and promote circulation in the feet which can reduce aching and promote relaxation. Be sure to add 1 cup of Epsom salt to a basin of water that is warm, yet not too hot.
Soak your feet for about fifteen to twenty minutes and gently scrub away any dead skin with a pumice stone or soft brush. Doing this routine about once or twice a week can help your feet look and feel beautiful and healthy.
7. Visit a Podiatrist
A podiatrist is trained to diagnose and treat foot and ankle ailments, recommend prevention techniques, and refer patients to other specialists when required.
As part of the podiatry session, the patient’s feet will be examined, thorough cleaning and treatment of any existing foot issue, treatment of calluses on the soles of the feet, and evaluation of any foot deformities.
This can help prevent further issues and create a plan for better overall foot hygiene. The podiatrist may also suggest footwear changes, exercises and stretches, orthotics, and skincare tips help prevent complications in the future.
Explore the Ways to Maintain Healthy Foot Hygiene Starting Today
A few simple steps can help keep your feet healthy! Make sure to pay attention to your feet daily and wear hygienic footwear made of breathable materials. Shower regularly, clean your feet well, and moisturize them often.
Cut your toenails straight and wear breathable socks and change them daily. Now that you know the basics of foot hygiene, go ahead and take proper care of your feet!