Health

How to give your feet some TLC

Follow these tips to fix cracked heels, corns and calluses

The feet are possibly the most neglected part of the body.

Despite our reliance on them, we rarely spare a thought for them, and all the daily care they get may just be a wash in the shower. As a result, corns, calluses and dry or cracked heels develop.

Here are some tips to try for happy feet.

KEEP YOUR FEET DRY

A moist and warm environment is ideal for the proliferation of bacteria and fungus, which can then lead to nasty odours and fungal infection.

A foot deodorant can help keep your feet dry and fresh, or use deodorising insoles. At home, it is important to give your feet - including the skin between your toes - a good wipe down, especially after a shower.

MOISTURISE YOUR FEET DAILY

The soles of your feet are faced with a large amount of friction from long hours of contact with your footwear.

To soften your feet, moisturise them nightly just before bedtime so that they have the entire night to absorb all of the moisturiser's nutrients. You can also put on a pair of socks to really lock in the nourishment.

MASSAGE TO REMOVE CORNS

Areas where hard skin has been left to develop over time, also known as corns, become apparent when the specific area is under pressure or in friction with your shoes.

To get rid of them, massage your feet and focus on the affected areas. Apply a pinch and roll technique on the skin for a few seconds every night to encourage blood flow back to the area. Don't buff the thick skin away with a pumice stone - all that added friction is only going to worsen the problem in the long run.

PRACTISE STRETCHING

When you are elevated on heels, the weight of your body becomes largely concentrated on the balls of your feet. Not only does it wear out the fatty cushions in our feet, but it also causes tension to build up in our feet and calves.

According to Mr Bastien Gonzalez, podiatrist to the stars and founder of the Bastien Gonzalez Pedi:Mani:Cure Studio at The St. Regis Singapore, "high heels tighten and shorten your Achilles, which can lead to ankle and knee problems". He advises "putting the sole of your foot against the wall, keeping your heel on the floor and leaning forward to stretch your calves".

USE PEELING SOCKS WITH CARE

You may have seen those reviews of people putting on peeling socks which gradually cause the skin on their feet to literally peel off, revealing fresh and soft skin underneath.

Mr Jeremy Jeune, studio manager of Bastien Gonzalez Pedi:Mani:Cure Studio, said these socks might be beneficial for those with very thick, dry and hard skin on their soles, but the skin on the top of the feet are rarely in the same condition. In order for them to have the power to slough off dead skin in that manner, they could be overly harsh on healthy skin.

This article was first published in Shape (www.shape.com.sg)

WELLNESS & BEAUTY