Just as you wouldn’t go a day out without taking a bath, you shouldn’t go a day out without taking care of your ‘overburdened feet’. As you dress up well, apply skincare and wear cologne, you need to invest your time in foot care too. Not just because of the aesthetic purpose, but there are many skin conditions that tend to appear on your feet if their hygiene is neglected.
Health Shots spoke to 3 dermatologists who shared similar views on taking care of your feet.
Dr Ashini Bhatt, skin and hair expert, Kaya, CG Rd. Ahmedabad, explained how a good foot care routine is as important as skincare.
Here are some guidelines for foot care, listed by Dr Bhatt:
- Wash your feet regularly and make sure they are dry before wearing any footwear or socks. Damp skin tends to breed more bacteria and fungus leading to infections.
- Exfoliating the feet skin regularly by either scrubs or chemical peels can remove the dead skin and thus prevent calluses and thickening of the skin on the bony prominences. Chemical peeling also helps in improving the colour, texture and overall appearance of the feet.
- Moisturizing is an important part of foot care. Massage your feet with ideal moisturizer products regularly to prevent dryness and cracked heels.
- Trimming the toe nails just to the correct length can prevent dirt collection and breakage.
- Sweaty feet also need to be addressed as they can also lead to secondary fungal, bacterial infection and sometimes viral warts. These conditions need special medical attention and your dermatologist can help you treat them better.
So, do not ignore your feet and provide the special care they deserve.
Health Shots took a word of advice from Dr Kaustav Guha Director, skin and hair expert, R&D Division, SkinKraft Labs, on the subject of foot care.
Dr Guha says, “Generally, most people ignore their feet in their body care routine. Among all the body parts, feet are more susceptible to fungal and bacterial growth induced by ambient wetness. Frequent contact with dirt and dust on the ground results in microbiological contaminants in the feet, which can result in different conditions such as cellulitis, corns, calluses, toenail fungus, and athlete’s foot.”
Your foot soles have thicker skin, which is more prone to dryness, roughness, and cracking. Hence, foot care should not be limited to just occasional pedicure treatments, but needs attention daily.
Listed below are some foot care tips suggested by Dr Guha:
- Wash your feet with a gentle cleanser daily, especially focusing on the skin in between the toes to prevent the build-up of sweat and dirt in the pores.
- Exfoliate your feet’s skin at least once a week to eliminate the hardened dead skin and dirt. You can use scrubbing creams or pumice stone for gentle exfoliation of the feet.
- Apply a thick or cream-based moisturizer to the feet every day. Also, soaking your feet in warm water for 10 minutes once a week helps in softening the skin.
- If your feet tend to sweat excessively, you can use foot powders generously in your everyday routine.
- Most essentially, dry your feet well before wearing the socks and shoes as dampness promotes fungal infections.
Vipin Sharma, skin expert, product and research manager at Fixderma India Pvt Ltd., also shared his expert solutions around skin problems that can affect your feet.
“The world out there is all about skincare and hair care. A 7 step routine, hair spa, anti-ageing, damaged hair, shiny hair has always been the trending keywords. But when it comes to the body care routine, we are still in the basic zone. It’s all about body lotion and washes. But are we talking about the entire body to address the concern? What about your feet? Isn’t it the most ignored part of the body?” says Dr Sharma.
Calling it a time to reconsider foot care in your routine, Dr Sharma lists following reasons:
- Dry, damaged, unmaintained, and scaly feet can ruin the whole appeal. It reflects bad hygiene.
- Not cleaning and moisturizing your feet properly can lead to making skin dry and thin and also weaken your joints and bones.
- A lot of us think pedicure is a beauty procedure but it is actually very important to prevent ingrowth of nails, accumulation of dry skin, and deep cleansing of feet.
- Checking your feet regularly is very important for cuts, sores, swelling, infections to prevent bigger issues like corn, calluses, athlete foot etc.
- The appearance of your feet reflects the health of your overall skin. Therefore, it’s very important to not only moisturize your body skin regularly but also your feet.
- In our ignorance, we end up using normal creams for our feet. But since the skin of the foot is thicker than our body skin, normal moisturizers and creams do not penetrate deeper into the skin to impart any benefit. Therefore, one should always use intensive moisturizer having ingredients like lactic acid, urea etc. to ensure smooth and soft feet.