Care for your feet

pamper them

Care for your feet

While most of us are particular about taking care of our facial skin, hair, and even hands, our feet are often relegated to the last spot on our list of priorities. Come to think of it, we apply moisturiser and cold cream on our face several times a day, but we tend to ignore our feet for days at a stretch. This can lead to painful consequences, including bacterial or fungal infections, corns, cracked skin and bad odour, among others.

It’s important to pamper your feet once in a while. If you experience skin irritation, swelling of the feet or peeling of the skin, consult a doctor as this may be a symptom of severe skin allergy.

Your feet care regimen must include:

Washing them well: Skin on your feet is most susceptible to bacterial and fungal infections since it is covered for a major part of the day. Besides, it is also exposed to the dust and grime on the floor. The skin between the toes is the perfect place for bacterial and fungal infections to flourish if it is not cleaned properly. It is therefore important to wash your feet with soap every day.

Keeping them dry: Athlete’s foot is a common fungal infection of the feet which causes itching, burning and peeling of the skin, and in some cases also painful blisters. Dampness causes such fungal infections to thrive. So make sure you dry your feet, especially the area between the toes, after every wash.

 Moisturising them regularly: Don’t limit your moisturising routine to just your face and hands. Lack of moisture can leave your feet dry, scaly and cracked, which will attract dirt and grime. Chapped heals do not just look bad, but can also be painful. Make sure you apply a generous dose of moisturiser on your feet every day, after washing and drying them. Cocoa butter or petroleum jelly are good options.

Removing dead skin: It is important to remove the dead skin layer by exfoliating your feet once a month. This can be done with a pumice stone or a loofah, but be gentle. Scrubbing can also be done with the mixture of sugar and olive oil with a few drops of mint or tea tree oil.

Pampering them occasionally: Leave your feet soaked in warm water for 10 to 15 minutes twice a month. This helps soften the skin. Then exfoliate, dry and apply a vitamin E-rich cream. You can also use a a mixture of mashed banana and lemon juice as a hydrating mask. Leave it on for 20 minutes and wash off.

Wearing socks: It is important to protect your feet from the cold as well as environmental damage. Socks shield the feet from dust and dirt, which might stick to the cream applied on the feet. They also protect you from UV rays and prevent tanning.

Wearing comfortable shoes: Avoid tight shoes as they may lead to skin infections or sores. Also avoid wearing high heels regularly as this may cause damage to the tissues and ligaments of your feet.

(The author is plastic & reconstructive surgeon, Cocoona Centre for Aesthetic Transformation, New Delhi­)

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