2018.04.20 - Foot care advice before the bathing season
We told you prior to the season’s start! – Foot care advice before the bathing season
Let’s admit that we owe it not only to ourselves, but also to the other people bathing with us to keep our feet healthy! Healthy feet reveal a lot about how high we set the hygiene standard for ourselves. By following a few simple rules we can prevent dermatological problems occurring on the feet, and we can walk with confidence on the beach or in the spa.
The skin is exposed to great pressure from the environment in every part of our body, but this burden is especially big for the skin on the feet. It is true that it doesn’t see as much sunshine as our face, but there are many other effects that pose a challenge to the feet’s skin. Usually we protect our feet from mechanical effects – and in winter from the cold – with shoes, but this protection causes trouble too. There are more sweat glands on our feet than in other parts of the body, because this is the place where we get rid of the majority of humidity that our body doesn’t need. The problem is that because of the shoes this humidity can’t exit, due to the fact the shoes have rather bad ventilation. This creates a perfect environment for bacteria and fungi.
Funnily enough dry feet also suffer from the same problem, as the skin loses its flexibility – especially on the heel – and it is likely to develop cracks, and these cracks act like open gates to infections. Although the skin on our soles has many sweat glands, it has few sebaceous glands. Sebaceous glands are responsible for producing the lipid-containing protective layer that naturally protects our skin from becoming dry and bacteria and fungi appearing on it.
It can also result in cracks on our heels if the skin – as it does everywhere – keeps peeling and reforming. Luckily enough, the epidermis of the soles reproduces faster, so if we don’t remove the dead skin cells regularly it will become thick, lose flexibility and crack. We find the same reason behind the development of callus. In this case some kind of external pressure, such as the one caused by uncomfortable shoes, make the dead layers of skin stick together; what is more, the callus that is formed this way increases the pressure further, so it becomes absolutely necessary to remove it as the discomfort caused by it will only get worse.
What can we do?
1) Wear comfortable shoes with good ventilation. It is best if there are personalised insoles inside.
2) Avoid wearing closed shoes whenever possible. Replace your shoes with comfortable footwear at work and in your home.
3) Don’t wear the same pair of shoes all the time; by doing so you give them the chance to breathe and your soles can avoid being exposed to the same mechanical effect.
4) Regularly disinfect your shoes by using formaldehyde-containing wipes, and use talcum powder.
5) Remove dead skin cells from your feet regularly; for your heels use a pumice stone, but make sure that you replace it with a new one regularly and that family members don’t use the same pumice stone. Remove dead skin cells regularly but don’t overdo it!
6) Use skin car creams: they not only moisturise the skin, but thanks to the fats and oils that they contain bacteria and fungi won’t appear on the feet. Essential oil from narrow-leaved paperbark is especially efficient against fungi.
7) Massage your feet or have them massaged. Bad circulation of the blood can contribute to the appearance of bacteria and fungi on the feet, because the immune system underperforms. Regular foot massage improves blood and lymph circulation, by this offsetting the negative effect of wearing – often uncomfortable – shoes.
8) Spas have always been the place where one can do a lot to stay healthy, and in most spas we find pedicure specialists who can give us treatment and professional advice. If you are having feet care problems that you can’t solve yourself, ask for the help of a professional!
Fish cleaning dead cells off a woman’s feet in nail and foot treatment salon in Thailand…