It's that time of the year again where the cold of winter has dried out your skin causing flaking, itchiness, embarrassment, and discomfort. All at the same time we are supposed to be prepping for Valentine’s Day and planning out our spring break vacations.
If you're worrying about exposure in open toed shoes or scared to go completely barefoot, don't worry. We’ve got you covered with the best tips and tricks to get your paws looking perfect! It all starts with healthy and clean feet. Be sure to follow these tips in order to get the perfect base before you pamper:
Clean with mild soap and water daily
Avoid using too hot water, lukewarm water will do the trick and prevent further drying. You can also choose to use cool or cold water as this has additional health benefits such as calming itchy skin, waking you up, increasing circulation, and reducing muscle soreness post-workout. Especially after lengthy workouts or hikes, you should be sure to give your feet a quick rinse and dry in order to avoid bacteria growth and sustain ideal hygiene practices.
Pay attention to skin damage such as cuts, sores, and swelling
Cuts, blisters, and sores shouldn’t generally cause major concern. However, they can cause distraction and discomfort. If left untreated, these minor pains can lead to much larger and long term problems. Be sure to wash the wound as soon as possible and apply petroleum jelly or other antibacterial ointments, then cover with a bandage when appropriate. Repeat this daily, but we also recommend that you allow your sores to breathe for periods of time such as 20 minutes between changing.
If your feet are swelling or you suffer from inflammation, be sure to monitor and analyze what may be causing this, and consider what you can do to prevent it. Eating anti-inflammatory foods, taking baths and other holistic methods are great ways to avoid this occurrence, and icing may help after strenuous workouts.
According to FootPrints 7 Things Your Feet Say About Your Health, sores and swelling that are not healing can indicate diabetes or skin cancer. Consulting a doctor is very important in order to prevent and treat these. Though if you are suffering from symptoms, “Some orthotics have been seen to assist diabetic feet by helping to alleviate pain and keep you going.”
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Keep your nails and skin healthy
Make sure the nails are trimmed straight across the top and are no longer than the tip of the toe. This will prevent damage or snagging of the nail, while preventing infections. The skin on your feet is also very important to take good care of. When you experience dry or rough skin on the heel, ball, or around the toes of your feet, file off the dead skin with a foot buffer. If you experience hangnails, whether on your hands or feet, do not rip them as this can pull off more skin than desired and cause bleeding. Instead, use nail clippers and simply cut at the base of the tear. You can also place a bandage over it to avoid further damage… or temptation to pick at it.
Wear the right shoes
Your feet are the base of your body so finding the right shoes to support and balance you throughout the day is essential. By using FitMyFoot custom orthotics, you can protect yourself from the ground up! Flats and other flat soled shoes can cause pain in your arches that can even lead to worse physical problems due to misalignment. However, FitMyFoot custom sandals can protect your feet and provide enough arch support. In addition to the right shoes, make sure you're wearing the right socks for you that are sweat wicking and comfortable.
Once you kick your shoes off at the end of the day, make sure to really give them some extra pampering and love to keep them moisturized and ready for the days to come! Try the following tips to get smooth and soft skin:
Try a foot mask, soak, scrub, or peels
Here are a few Black Friday products that double as a great Valentine’s gift for yourself or others! Exfoliation treatments will help rid of any dry skin or stubborn patches on your foot, while masks will hydrate and soothe your skin. Your feet will benefit from soaking in lukewarm water, especially if you experience inflammation. Draw yourself a bath, infused with your favorite essential oils and Epsom salts, sit back and enjoy!
If you suffer from foot odor, try mixing two parts warm water with one part white or apple cider vinegar and soak for 20 minutes in a tub – though only soak your feet because this could be too drying for the rest of your body. While these pampering products can feel amazing, be careful to avoid overuse. Follow the product instructions and listen to your body – further drying may be the result of overuse.
Use hypoallergenic or non scented lotion and avoid between your toes where over rubbing may cause skin sensitivity or loss of balance. For best practices, apply twice a day. Application immediately after showering or bathing will yield the best results as this is when your skin is most absorbent. You can also try applying before bed and putting socks on after to hold in the moisture.
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Pedicure and massage
We recommend getting a pedicure every four to six weeks as this is the amount of time it will take for dead skin to form. In between appointments, or if you prefer self care, massages are great for keeping your feet muscles relaxed and feeling good. Get barefoot with your boo this V-day and follow these tips for giving the best massage.
While you do not need to use all of these methods for healthy clean feet, adding just a few into your daily and monthly routine will make a huge difference. Try them out and let us know what you –or your boo– think. Happy Valentine’s!