Many of us know the importance of following a skincare routine and balanced diet plan, but what about your feet? Have you considered how to care for your feet? Our feet are exposed to constant weight and shearing forces that contribute to changes to the skin that are not common in other parts of the body. Just like every other aspect of our health, our feet require daily care in order to prevent any injuries as well as catch any potential problems early. In this article, we share some ways to care for your feet.
Get Proper Footwear
With summer right around the corner, it is easy to fall into the trap of throwing on a pair of flip flops. Whereas this follows the carefree nature of summer, it contributes to undue stress on the feet. As the foundation of your body, proper shoe gear is extremely important for normal walking biomechanics. This does not mean that you have to wear ugly shoes, it just means you have to wear shoes that help stabilize your body while walking. Many sandals are available that provide built-in support with a mild arch and adjustments at the heel to support standing and walking. It is important to wear a shoe that does not bend in the middle but allows for bending in the toe box. Shoes that are flexible in the arch translate the entire force of walking or running to the foot. With time this can lead to serious foot and ankle problems that could cost you thousands in healthcare bills.
Proper Nail Care
Unlike the fingernails, the toenails must be trimmed straight across. This limits the probability of an ingrown nail. Ingrown nails are very painful, and In the feet, require medical attention. An ingrown nail, or paronychia, can lead to serious infections if not treated promptly. Soaking the feet in warm water with Epsom salt can help manage the pain until you can see a doctor, but the best course of action is prevention. Never dig under the nails, or disrupt the cuticle. Many pedicurists will try to push back the cuticle. This should be avoided as the cuticle is the natural protective barrier for the nail base. Disrupting the cuticle can allow for the invasion of bacteria as well as fungus. Fungal infections are very difficult to treat and require months of oral medications that can have serious side effects, especially involving the liver. Why risk getting an infection?
You can learn many things from your nails. Pay attention to the character, shape, and color of nails. A very thick nail could be the sign of a fungal infection, but it does not have to be. Microtrauma or the repetitive force of small levels of trauma to the nail over time can cause changes to the shape and thickness of the nail. These nail changes can increase the chances of ingrown nails. Should you notice changes to the thickness of the nail, or color, a doctor’s visit is warranted to rule out the presence of a fungus. A simple biopsy of the corner of the nail can tell whether a fungus is, or is not present.
Finally, maintain the proper nail length. The tip of the nail should grow to the point where it gently separates from the underlying nail bed. Cutting the nail too short can result in sensitivity at the end of the digit, whereas having the nail too long can cause trauma to the nail matrix, an area that controls the growth of the nail. Maintaining the proper nail length can stop a litany of problems and save you tons in medical visits.
Treat Corns and Calluses Timely
Corns and calluses are the body’s first line of defense to stress. The most common form of stress in the feet is the result of shearing forces from walking, jumping, and running. Runners, very active individuals, and those in careers that require hours of standing or walking have a particularly high level of stress on their feet. This is best demonstrated by the calluses and corns that form inactive individuals. Both a callus and corn are types of overgrowth of the top layer of the skin that is comprised of keratin. Shearing forces on the skin result in inflammation triggering the body’s natural defense to increase keratin. This protective barrier results in a condition known as hyperkeratosis. Corns can be differentiated from calluses by their hard-like central region with a noted surrounding of inflamed tissue found in non-weight-bearing areas. Calluses, however, are found in weight-bearing areas, larger in size, and diffuse, sometimes covering an entire part of a weight-bearing area.
Daily Foot Care Regimens
Adding a foot care line to your daily routine can help manage rough, or unappealing skin. At Sorevna, our team has years of medical experience in dealing with the feet of active individuals. We strive to provide products that maintain beautiful, healthy skin that is smooth and free of calluses and corns. Unlike harsh chemicals such as salicylic acid, we do not use anything that can be detrimental to the skin. Using an effective, but gentle formula, we are able to gradually reduce the size and presence of calluses by restoring the natural moisture barrier and attenuating the amount of keratinized tissue. We strive to be the best in the industry with a revolutionized formula designed for high-stress areas of the skin.