Chavelle enjoys writing about topics related to weddings, health and beauty, and pop culture.
Our feet are often neglected. For whatever reason, they are always at the bottom of our to-do lists. Feet will always be a prime focal point of our appearance and attire, especially if one is baring it all in sandals or flip-flops.
There isn’t anything more unattractive than unmaintained, unsightly, and worst of all, smelly feet.
If you think about your weight, you'll realize that your feet lug around a lot of baggage all day. They are your sole transportation system when everything else fails, and still, they are rewarded with nothing.
It’s about time you start learning how to take care of your feet properly. Here are my top 10 tips on how to care for your feet and toenails.
1. Cut and Maintain Moderate-Length Nails
Don’t you just love the pleasure of looking at well-manicured toenails? I'm a sucker for checking out people’s feet, especially when they parade around in flip-flops and sandals.
Call me crazy, or call me a freak, but cutting and maintaining moderate nail length plays an integral part of foot care, and it definitely has its advantages.
In fact, research published by the Mayo Clinic confirmed that appropriately cutting toenails can lessen the likelihood of severe foot pain, discomfort, and infection caused by ingrown nails.
Remember that technique is essential when cutting toenails. Therefore, the next time you decide to nip your toenails, be sure to use appropriate toenail clippers for best results, and try to cut the nail straight across. Make sure you are not going too short with the trim as this may result in the nail curling and growing into the skin, especially if you wear closed-toed shoes regularly.
Another advantage of keeping moderate nail length is that the nails will harbor less dead skin and dirt underneath them. So the goal is neater nails and cleaner toes.
2. Get a Salon Pedicure Once per Month
Trust me; your feet absolutely deserve it. Sure, you could do your pedicure at home yourself if you want to, but most times, it's just not the same as having a professional do it for you.
Just imagine relaxing and having someone else give your worn-out feet some TLC. You like to kick your feet up, don’t you? Right! But now, your feet want to kick their toes up, too.
A professional and sensible salon pedicure can bring back even the worst feet. Well, that depends on the skills of your pedicurist and the amount of time they spend on your feet.
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Nonetheless, a good soak in some warm water followed by some dead skin removal, nail shaping, massage, and polish should do the trick.
3. Wear Appropriate Shoes
Did you know that wearing appropriate shoes can significantly improve posture, eliminate discomfort, and prevent injuries? I'm sure you did. As a matter of fact, I'm sure most people do.
But did you know that the best time to buy shoes is late in the afternoon when your feet are most likely to have swollen to their maximum size? You didn’t know that, did you? That’s ok; I just found that out myself.
It is a pity though, more so for us women, because it's hard to find shoes that are fashionable, stylish, and comfortable all in one. Sometimes we let the “shoe-nami” get the best of us, and end up buying and wearing shoes that don't fit comfortably. Nonetheless, wearing appropriate shoes is another integral part of foot care.
When you're buying shoes, consider getting shoes that are your actual size. Make sure they have enough room for your toes to wiggle, and they conform to the natural shape of your foot.
Of course, we all want an enviable shoe size, but unfortunately, wearing a size smaller than your real size may leave you with the ugliest set of toes you have ever seen. You could end up with bunions, corns, nail fungus, and sores. I am pretty sure you don't want that!
4. Soak and Scrub Feet Once per Week
Soaking and scrubbing your feet at least once per week will reduce the chances of foul odors chasing your feet. If you are like me and wear closed-toed shoes every day—whether with socks, stockings, or without—you will notice that your feet sweat.
There's no sense in waiting until the end of the month to clean your feet; give yourself a pre-professional-pedicure pedicure. Besides, I have been to a few salons and noticed nail technicians chatting about customers the moment they leave. Don’t let your feet be the subject of their discussions.
5. Give Yourself Regular Foot Massages
Cramped, swollen, or achy feet are a common occurrence, especially after a long day of walking or standing. That’s why treating our feet with regular mini-massages is like a little piece of heaven and a sign of appreciation for our feet.
Foot massages are wonderful. They not only prepare us for more restful sleep, but they also aid in the recovery of foot and ankle injuries when combined with strengthening exercises. So tell me again, what is your excuse for not wanting a foot massage?
6. Moisturize Your Feet
Moisturizing your feet on a regular basis is regarded as a very simple, yet very important beauty care tip for your feet. Moisturizing aids in having soft and beautiful feet. Quite frankly, even moisturizing your feet with olive oil can prevent dry feet and cracked heels.
7. Powder Your Feet
Slapping foot powder on your feet is highly recommended, especially if your feet sweat profusely, and you suffer from embarrassing foot odor or the so-called “cheesy foot.” Sometimes that can be very hard to get rid of. The chemical properties of foot powder help keep these smells at bay.
But wait, do your shoes stink? Try inserting cedar shoe trees or crumpled-up newspaper in your shoes when you are not wearing them. This absorbs excess moisture and deodorizes at the same time!
8. Wear Socks in Your Shoes
Wearing shoes without socks is habitual for a lot of people, but it's not a good idea. Just like our hands and armpits, our feet are one of the body parts that sweat the most. So, wearing socks in shoes should not just be for fashion or keeping feet warm, but it actually helps your feet stay dryer. This also reduces the likelihood of bacteria growing on your feet or between your toes.
Also, wearing socks can mitigate stenches, as they absorb a lot of your sweat that otherwise would have been absorbed by your shoes. Socks also lessen the chances of your feet becoming cracked, chafed, or scaly, or developing bunions and corns from the constant friction of your feet rubbing against the inside of your shoes.
9. Take a Break From Nail Polish
Like they always say, “Too much of anything is good for nothing.” The sad truth is the same that can be said for our nail polish, so take a break from your nail polish every now and again. Nail polish on toenails can affect individuals differently, which may be a result of their health and fitness history.
For some people, wearing nail polish for even as short as a week may cause the color of the toenail to change to an unhealthy yellow, or they may develop abnormalities in the nail shape, texture, or thickness.
As a matter of fact, the MedlinePlus article “Nail Abnormalities" confirmed that long-term exposure to moisture or nail polish could cause nails to peel off and feel brittle.
Nails are often labeled as “dead,” but they still require exposure to oxygen to stay healthy. New Health Guide advises in its “Yellow Toenails” feature that a base coat should be added to toenails before applying nail polish, and nails periodically should be left without polish for a couple of days to allow them to breathe.
10. Avoid Wearing Acrylic Toenails
Unlike acrylic fingernails, acrylic toenails tend to become infected or develop fungus faster. This accelerated process is more than likely caused by the moisture and trauma when acrylic toenails come in contact with footwear.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2017 Chavelle Ann-Marie Murray