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Are your feet in need of a facial before summer?

Spring has sprung, but are your ready to reveal your feet to the world? Maybe not? Do they need a little or a lot of spring cleaning before the big reveal?

For many the most neglected part of their body is their feet. You might shower and wash your body every day but does that good scrubbing end at your ankles? How about the drying after the shower? Does each little piggy get thoroughly dried? Cream? Head to toe or does it end at the ankle too?

These poor, hard working and often misunderstood feet! Before we start trying to take better care of our feet here are some necessary foot facts:

  • The average person takes 8,000-10,000 steps a day.
  • The average woman walks almost 5 km more per day than the average male.
  • During an average day of walking, the forces on your feet can total hundreds of tons, equivalent to an average fully loaded cement truck!
  • Toenails grow slower than fingernails.
  • Soles of the feet contain more sweat glands and sensory nerves per square centimeter than any other part of the body.
  • The feet produce approximately ¼ of a litre of perspiration daily

One of the key challenges with looking after the feet, is understanding how much they sweat compared to the rest of the body. They need to be treated a little more like an underarm. Would you shower without really washing your underarms? The feet need this same attention and it is all in the details or in this case - digits. Be sure to wash and examine between your toes. It is amazing what can be lurching in there!  Be sure to keep them free of excessive dead skin as odour-producing bacteria love dead skin. If your feet are particularly sweaty and odour producing be sure to try Kaia Naturals Detox Booster Bar. Made specifically for our sweaty areas (underarms and feet) it contains activated charcoal for detoxification and apple cider vinegar to rebalance the skins PH to reduce odor causing bacteria. Avoid washing with standard soap if you are having problems with foot odor as it disrupts the PH balance of the feet and makes it worse. The same holds true if you know you have or easily get Athlete’s Foot.

Not only do they feet need special attention when washing but they also need special attention when drying. We have been taught to leave the skin on the body slightly damp before applying moisturizer for the best results. This does not hold true for the feet. Dry feet well, particularly between the toes where bacteria and fungus like to set up shop. If you experience peeling skin between your toes or at cracking at the base of your toes this is not from dryness. It is tinea pedis or athletes foot. Tinea pedis is a fungal infection. Fungus loves warm, moist, dark environments to grow. With our feet stuck in boots, shoes, synthetic socks and synthetic , fluffy slippers all winter is a perfect breeding ground. Air those puppies out! Let them see the light of day! Between the toes where it is hard for the light to get – dry well.

You have washed, you have dried and now you are ready to slather with cream? Hold up! Unless your feet are in perfect condition applying the same cream you would put on your body will often make the condition on your feet worse! It comes back to the number of sweat glands on the feet. Many people are walking around with tinea pedis and don’t know it. Standard body moisturizers will hold in sweat and moisture making the condition worse. If your feet are peeling or have little bubbles under the skin you probably have tinea pedis.  An excellent remedy and easy to use treatment foam is Footlogix #7 Peeling Skin Formula. If you have “Velcro feet” where your feet feel so dry they catch on everything you actually have tinea pedis. It is a dry form of athletes foot. Applying heavy creams to correct the “dryness” will only make the problem worse. A very effective treatment is Footlogix  #7+ for Rough Skin Formula. Applied twice daily for a short time should have you sandal ready.

Are your feet truly dry and even cracking? Nowhere else on the body will we accept skin cracking. Let’s not accept it for our feet! These cracks create excellent entry points into the body for all kinds of bacteria and fungal infections. If you have cracked skin on your feet try Gehwol Salve for Cracked Skin and Footlogix #3+Cracked Heel Formula.

Are thick calluses and/or corns an issue? This build up of dead skin is due to excessive friction in an area. Calluses are dead skin that builds up to protect your feet; corns are simply calluses that grown inward. Too much callus and corns can hurt. A simple remedy starts with a callus softening (Gehwol Herbal Foot Bath is a great one) followed by an effective scraping down of the callus (Biosana Foot Files are a great choice as they can last and remain effective for many years). Follow this with daily use of a specific foot cream for calluses that will help to keep the dead skin from building up. This is something that a regular body cream just can’t accomplish. A couple of recommendations are Gewhol Foot Cream Extra and Footlogix  #3 Very Dry Skin Formula.

Is the opposite true for you – the skin on your feet is very thin and blisters easily? Often with age or diabetes the skin thins and is more easily damaged with friction. The key is to keep your feet from slipping inside your shoes, socks and sandals. Most creams for moisture will create too much slip for this foot concern. A quickly absorbing treatment is ideal such as Gewhol Foot Cream. This specialty cream has been around since 1882 and proven effective with its unique dry finish.

How are your toenails looking? Are they ingrown, over-grown or thickened? Ingrown nails are hard to treat effectively yourself without making the problem worse – give us a call - we specializes in advanced foot care.  Ask for our Medi Pedi – it is not a regular pedicure. The same holds true for thicken nails -book with an expert that has the tools and techniques to thin the nails making them easy to trim and nice to look at.

If your toenails are lifting from the nail bed then know that you may have a fungal infection. This is often the first sign. It requires keeping the nail trimmed short so more moisture cannot remain trapped under the nail bed making the problem worse. Consistent use of Footlogix Fungicide Toe Tincture can be a great remedy. Catch it early before it progresses, distorts the shape of the nail and infects other nails. This is also a great reason to keep your nails trimmed short with only a small amount of free-edge showing. Long toe nails breed nail fungus.

So let’s put a spring in your step and give our feet that much needed facial they deserve!