How to keep your feet healthy? 7 tips to improve your foot care routine

Have you been ignoring your foot health? If yes, know how to keep your feet healthy with a proper foot care routine.
foot care
Here are some reasons you need a foot care routine too. Image Courtesy: Shutterstock
Tanya Shree Updated: 16 Apr 2024, 12:00 pm IST
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Our feet demand an equal amount of love and care as we give to other parts of the body. But we often tend to keep them last when it comes to self care. Knowingly or unknowingly, we tend to make ourselves more prone to foot-related conditions by wearing uncomfortable pointy pumps, ill-fitted slippers and poor foot hygiene. So, it is important to give proper attention to your daily foot care routine as it can save you from experiencing pain, discomfort and conditions like blisters, bunions, corns and more. If you have been ignoring your foot health, here’s how to keep your feet healthy and a foot care routine you can pull off every once in a while.

Why is foot care important?

Our feet are a foundation of mobility. They bear the weight of the body. Even slight discomfort and pain in the feet can hamper your movement and affect your day-to-day activities. Poor foot health can also make you more prone to problems like callus, corns and ingrown toenails. If these problems are neglected and not treated on time, they can lead to infections and chronic conditions. Healthy feet ensure proper posture, alignment and reduces strain on joints, says dermatologist and cosmetologist Dr Monica Bambroo.

What is a healthy foot care routine?

Better foot health improves the overall quality of life by reducing pain, discomfort and mobility issues. A healthy foot care routine includes regularly washing your feet, keeping them dry and regularly checking your feet for any signs of problems like cuts or sores, shares the expert.

Why should diabetics care extra for their feet?

Individuals with diabetes are often told to pay extra attention to their blood sugar level, diet intake, medications and more. But amid all these, diabetics must not forget to take care of their foot health as they are at increased risk of foot ulceration, limb loss, infections and anatomical changes, according to a study published in StatPearls. Diabetes can damage the nerves, which can reduce blood flow to your feet. This can contribute to slowing down the healing of wounds, increasing the risk of infections and decreasing sensation. Even a small foot issue can turn into serious problems like ulcers and amputation if foot health is neglected in diabetics.

Also Read: Diabetes skin care tips: 7 rules every diabetic should follow

foot care
Following a proper foot care routine can improve your foot health. Image courtesy: Adobe Stock.

How to keep your feet healthy?

Following a basic foot care routine at home can help you stay protected from several fungi and bacterial infections that can cause several foot related conditions. Here are some of the ways by which you can ensure and rejuvenate the health of your feet:

1. Wash your feet

Regularly washing your feet with mild soaps and warm water can help you get rid of dirt and impurities. This practice can keep your feet clean and free from fungi that can cause athlete’s foot. According to the US Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, keeping your feet clean can protect you from skin infections and fungal nail infections that can make your nails discoloured, thick and more prone to crack.

2. Keep them dry

While washing your feet is essential, you must not forget to dry them as there are various fungi that thrive in moist environments that can affect the space between the toes. Following this practice can keep feet safe from uncomfortable fungal and bacterial infections.

3. Wear proper footwear

Wearing shoes that fit you well can provide proper support and allow your feet to breathe, says Dr Bambroo. Regular use of incorrect footwear can cause severe foot pain, corns, callus and impact the overall foot health. It can also lead to foot ulceration in older people who have diabetes as per the Journal of Foot and Ankle Research. Adding to that, wearing minimal heel height footwear that comes with thin sole and hard in-sole without built-in arch support can plantar fasciitis, one of the most common reasons for heel pain.

4. Trim your toenails regularly

Trimming your toenails in the right way is important to avoid the development of ingrown toenails. Cutting them straight across and leaving them long enough is important to let the corners lie loosely against the skin at either side. Improper trimming of the toenails can leave you with ingrown toenails that can be painful.

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5. Moisturise your feet

Dry feet and cracked heels are symptoms of dehydration and lack of moisture in your skin. This can also leave you with pain, discomfort and can also make you self conscious. So, it is essential to keep your feet hydrated and moisturised to prevent these issues. Along with drinking ample amounts of water, include foot care products like creams, moisturisers and hydrating masks to lock in moisture and improve the hydration level of your foot skin.

Also Read: Home remedies for cracked heels: Say goodbye to dry heels

6. Check for problems

While following a proper foot care routine and maintaining foot hygiene is essential, regularly inspecting your feet to check for problems is equally important. Along with pampering your feet, make sure to pay regular visits to your dermatologist and get your feet checked. This will help you detect any possible foot health conditions or prevent the risk of issues like corns and callus. Along with getting your feet checked, it is equally vital to treat the foot related problems on time as neglecting them can cause severe issues and leave you feeling discomfort.

7. Maintain a healthy lifestyle

A healthy and well-balanced lifestyle is the key to better health. So exercise regularly, eat a balanced diet and manage conditions like diabetes to improve your overall foot health.

foot care
A healthy foot care routine can keep you safe from several foot-related conditions. Image courtesy: Adobe Stock.

What is the best way to tackle rough skin, callus and odour?

Rough skin, callus and odour are some of the most common problems associated with poor foot health. Dr Bambroo shares ways to tackle these problems to improve your foot condition.

1. Rough skin

Rough and dry skin, also known as xerosis, is one of the most common foot conditions that can leave you with discomfort and infections. To treat this, it is essential to exfoliate your feet regularly by using a pumice stone or foot scrub. It will help remove dead skin cells that can cause dryness and even lead to the formation of blisters and other infections. By exfoliating your skin, you can improve the blood circulation in the feet that can help reduce swelling and discomfort. After exfoliating, moisturise your feet as dead skin cells often prevent your feet from absorbing the moisture fully. By applying moisturiser, you can improve the hydration level and make your feet healthy.

2. Callus

Callus are the hard and painful areas of your skin that are developed on the feet due to pressure or friction. This foot related condition can often lead to irritation, infections or ulceration of the skin, especially if you have diabetes or poor circulation in the feet. To treat callus at home, follow the given steps:

  • Soak your feet in warm and soapy water to soften the callus.
  • Then gently exfoliate them with a pumice stone or a foot scrubber.
  • Make sure to not cut or shave callus as it can lead to infection.

Health Shots Recommends: 5 best callus feet removers for soft, smooth feet

3. Odour

Bad foot odour can occur because of several reasons. A study published in the Canadian Journal of Microbiology states that bad foot odour can occur from isovaleric acid, which is produced when Staphylococcus epidermidis degrades leucine present in sweat. To prevent poor foot odour, wash your feet regularly with antibacterial soap and use foot powders to keep your feet dry and prevent the formation of odour-causing bacteria. Adding to that, pay attention to your hygiene practices and make sure to rotate your shoes and socks regularly.

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About the Author

Tanya Shree is a young digital content producer with a keen interest in the health and wellness domain. She also has an eye for photography and is a voracious reader. ...Read More

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