Your feet, of course, carry you everywhere you go. They run after your kids when they need help, they dance the night away on that special night out, and they can take thousands of steps each day. After a while, the wear and tear begins to show in the form of dry, flaky, and sometimes, cracked skin.
Sometimes, problems with your feet aren’t just the result of neglecting them; it can be from an ailment like athlete’s foot or nail fungus. When summer comes, it’s the perfect time to clear up these problems so you can wear your sandals or flip-flops without a care in the world. Well, at least you won’t be worried about what your feet look like.
Dry, Flaky Skin
If your problem is just dry skin, there are quite a few things you can do to help clear them up and leave them looking baby smooth. You can do any one of these, or any combination.
Give your feet a good soaking. Fill a large bucket or footbath with a gallon of warm water and a quarter cup of baking soda, and soak your feet. Not only will this loosen up the dry skin so you can remove it, it soothes your feet and helps you relax.
Try a pumice stone to remove the dry skin patches. Skin on the bottom of your feet dries easily and can build up. You can find these in or near the beauty section of your favorite store. Look for a tool that has a stiff brush on one side and a pumice stone on the other.
After you have soaked your feet, or after a shower, use the pumice to scrap away the dead skin. Alternate between using the pumice and the brush to get more dead skin to come off. Don’t worry, it won’t hurt. While pumice on other parts of your body isn’t a good idea, it’s a great, painless tool to remove deep layers of dry, dead skin.
You can nourish your feet overnight as well. Look for a lotion designed for feet, and slather it on both feet before you go to bed. Wear cotton socks over your feet as you sleep. When you wake up in the morning, your dry, flaky feet should feel much softer.
If your feet become so dry and cracked that they begin to hurt with each step, that might be an indication of a deep crack in your skin. This can mean infections can set it. If you are having this problem, you should consider seeing your doctor.
Athlete’s foot is cause by fungus. Symptoms include itching, blisters that open and expose sensitive skin, peeling skin, and pain. If you have this condition, a good antifungal medication is recommended. You should also take care to keep your feet dry by using powders, and by exposing your feet to air as much as you can. This might mean taking off your shoes and socks as soon as you get home each day.
If the condition does not seem to be improving, or seems to be getting worse, visit your doctor. If the condition is not clearing up there may be another problem going on at the same time, such as an infection. A doctor will be needed to help you clear up the problem.
If your toenails have turned yellow or brown, you may have a toenail fungus. A doctor may refer to it as onychomycosis. The fungus feeds on the toenail and after awhile, the toenail will disintegrate or fall off.
Nail fungus is hard to get rid of, and generally will not go away on it’s own. Your doctor may prescribe a medication to help alleviate the problem. Quite often it takes up to three months for the condition to clear. In some cases, it will never clear and your nail may have to be removed. So if you suspect you have toenail fungus, see your doctor as soon as you can.
Our feet are often the most used and most ignored part of our bodies. Dry, cracked, and flaky feet are not only a cosmetic issue; it can also point to a medical problem you need to take care of as soon as possible.