In your lifetime it is estimated that you will walk around 110,000 miles (based on the average human living until they are 80 and walking around 7,500 steps a day), thats around 115 miles per month. Thats some serious battering your feet will take in that time which is why it is worth developing a care plan for your feet to keep them in the best condition possible. Your feet will tell you when something is wrong, whether it is an ache, pain, blister, ingrown toe-nail, bunions or hard skin, and like the tyres and brakes on your car, they need looking after. I am not medically trained but I am trained in pedicures so can give you some hints and tips to help keep your feet happy.
Firstly, make sure that your feet are clean and dry each day, wash them in the morning or evening, ideally after a walk or sport where your feet may have got hot and sweaty. When drying them chack for any cuts, abrasions, blisters or hard skin build ups.
If you have any cuts or abrasions, firstly cleanse the area with cool, clean water, then wipe the area with an antibacterial wipe (you can buy these at most pharmacy stores) then apply a thin layer of antiseptic cream and leave to sink in. If the area is bleeding or weeping then cover with a plaster, changing it every 4-8hours.
Blisters can generally be left alone if the skin is not broken. The liquid under the skin will act to cushion and protect the area an will gradually subside. If the blister has popped then follow the steps above and cover with a plaster. The area will remain tender and sore for a few days until the skin starts to heal.
Check your toe nails when drying, and trim them once a week, always cut them straight across in order to prevent ingrown toe nails. If you do develop an ingrown toe nail seek advice from a doctor or podiatrist, digging around in the sensitive skin of the toe can cause infection, pain and irreversable damage. Clean the area and apply antiseptic cream and a plaster then seek medical advice. There are lots of different advice pages on the internet which can be tempting to look at and a home remedy sort but it really isn’t worth going down that route.
Hard skin can build up on areas where your foot feels pressure, the most common are on the bottom of your feet, the ball of your foot, around the heel and along the big and small toe outer edge. Depending on how bad the hard skin is you can either use a foot scrup containing pumice particles,or a pumice stone to remove the dead skin. I would recommend soaking your feet first in order to soften and loosen up the hard skin making it easier to remove. Don’t go in all guns blazing though, as you can remove too much skin and create sore patches, go slow and calm, check every now and again to see how you are progressing and stop when you have removed around 75% of the hard skin.
Now for a little foot routine that I like to undertake once a week or month…
Fill a bowl (that you can fit your feet in – a square washing bowl works well) with warm water and some menthol foot soak or epsom salts, spread a towel out onto the floor and place the bowl on top of it with a chair near by that you can comfortably sit on. Place another towel within reach and put your feet in the water. The menthol in the foot soak acts to cool the feet in a plesant way and act as a de-odoriser! Soak your feet for 10 to 15 minutes. After 15 mins remove one of your feet from the water, towel dry and then cut your toe nails. Apply a foot scrub and rub it over your foot for 5 minutes before putting it back into the water and then doing the same with your other foot. Once both feet have been scrubbed and rinsed, remove from the water and towel dry again before applying some foot cream and massaging in well – even between the toes. Apply a thick pair of socks and relax with a nice cuppa and tv or a book. This is especially nice to do after a hard day, a long walk or before bed. 🙂 (Ps, my favorite foot products are from The Bodyshop and contain peppermint, you can find the whole range here )Please also note that this is just a basic routine, there are many other steps you can add and products you can use (masks, oils, sprays) and you can add your own steps in! Let me know how you get on!!!
And now to see if my feet have carried me past 10,000 steps yesterday!!!
🙂 I did!!!
I am aiming to walk 10,000 steps a day for the whole of september in order to raise money for Cancer Research, if you would like to sponsor me or donate, you can visit my Just Giving page where a few clicks will see your donation added to the cause.