How to Care For Your Feet Every Day

You may not give much attention to your feet every day, but once you have a problem with them, you're probably going to wish you had taken better care of them! Corns and calluses can be painful if left untreated, and even slightly sore feet can keep you from standing or walking any distance. To ensure your feet are always healthy and in good shape, note a few tips for their overall hygiene and for keeping them feeling good throughout the day.

1. Wash and dry feet every day

You may not think to wash your feet while in the shower, assuming that standing in the soapy water is going to clean them enough. However, just rinsing them this way isn't going to get off any caked-on dirt, sweat, and bacteria that may cling to your feet. It's good to use a soft foot brush and actually wash the bottom of the feet as well as around the toes and nails. Be sure you also dry them thoroughly before putting on socks or stockings, so residual moisture doesn't allow bacteria to grow and cause odours or lead to skin infection.

2. Trim and polish

Trim the toenails every week, going straight across and not digging into or under the nails, as this can cause an ingrown toenail. If you have dirt under your toenails that you need to remove, use a small scrub brush instead of a nail file or other such tool that might actually prick skin and leave an open sore.

Polish calluses with a pumice stone every week as well, so they don't get thick and painful. As you do this, inspect your feet for any signs of redness, irritation, sores, and other issues you might show to a podiatrist to have checked thoroughly.

3. Soak

If your feet are sore, it's good to soak them, preferably with Epsom salts, to soothe the muscles. You may be tempted to give yourself a foot rub; however, if the sore muscles are bruised or stretched, rubbing them might actually do more damage. Soaking relaxes the muscles and Epsom salts are thought to soften skin so that you avoid ingrown toenails and other irritations that make feet feel even worse. This can also help to remove more bacteria and other contaminants on the bottom of your feet that can lead to warts and the potential for skin infections. As with washing, be sure you dry your feet thoroughly after soaking and before putting on socks or stockings.