Happy Feet: Home Remedies to Pamper Your Feet
A toddler’s first steps never fail to amaze us and the patter of tiny feet around the house touch the deepest corners of a parent’s heart. A moment most cherished, these first steps are the beginning of approximately 250,000 miles that this baby will perhaps walk in his lifetime. As he grows older, an average person takes around 10,000 steps a day. This puts a lot of pressure on the feet, which makes it mandatory for us to take good care of them. Never overlook problems you might experience with your feet since they might reveal some hidden health signs. Chipped or cracked nails might indicate signs of vitamin or mineral deficiency; the bumps on our toes could be connected to rheumatoid arthritis; ulcers or ‘burning feet’ could be a symptom of B12 deficiency. The coloring, texture and shape of our feet can signal whether you are suffering from diabetes, have a heart problem or if you wear high heels. In other words, our feet could well be regarded as a road map to our health and well being.
So, take a step in the right direction by practicing good foot care. Examine your feet regularly for signs of blisters, ingrown toenails, corns or any sort of fungal infections. Follow a few simple steps on how to take care of your feet, to make them happy, healthy and strong. However if you have any foot problems that refuse to go away, or if you are a diabetic, make sure to visit your doctor if you develop a sore on your foot that refuses to heal.
They carry us around all the time, so why not pamper our feet by taking good care of them?
» After a hard and exhausting day on your feet, sit with your feet elevated to help improve circulation.
» Keep your feet dry and moisturized at all times, especially keep the areas between the toes dry, which may otherwise lead to fungal growth also known as athletes foot.
» Massage your feet every night with a good moisturizer to improve blood circulation.
» Clip your toe nails twice a week, taking care not to cut too deep at the corners as this could lead to ingrown toenails.
» Dust your feet with powder containing salicylic acid or any other anti fungal powder. This helps to absorb excess sweat and keeps the bacteria at bay.
» Wear protective shoes when you go outside, making sure that your feet are clean and dry before you wear them.
» Wear light cotton socks before you go to bed, to keep feet soft and well moisturized.
» Do not sit cross legged on the floor for too long. Keep shifting your position, to avoid cramps.
» Wear proper fitting and comfortable footwear.
» Avoid wearing very high heels for long periods of time as this could land you in a lot of foot problems including corns, calluses, neuroma of the foot or hammertoes.
» And finally, treat yourself to a home pedicure using natural and easily available home ingredients.
HOW TO DO PEDICURE AT HOME
You will need:
Bowl of warm water; a handful of rock salt, bath gel, hand towel; emery board; nail enamel remover; nail clipper; cotton pads; orange stick; cuticle stick, nail brush; base coat ; top coat; nail enamel
» Remove all traces of old nail polish using a nail polish remover
» Soak feet in plain water for five minutes to soften the nails. Pat dry and cut the nails with a clipper, straight across. Do not cut the nails too deep into the sides as this could cause ingrown nails
» In a tub filled with warm water, add a handful of rock salt (or sea salt), 2 tablespoons of bath gel (even shampoo will do) and soak feet for at least fifteen minutes
» Massage feet using a scrub which could be easily prepared at home.
To make a scrub at home: Grind two tablespoons of oatmeal in a mixer. Add ½ a lime, 1 tablespoon curd and empty the contents of one capsule of vitamin E oil into this mix. You could also add a teaspoon of sugar to make the feet even softer. Scrub feet with this paste for at least fifteen minutes
» Using a pumice stone or a foot file, buff away calluses and dead skin from the heels and soles of the feet.
» Gently scrub toe nails with a soft nail brush to remove grime from the edges of nails. If the grime is too stubborn, apply a few drops of hydrogen peroxide using a wad of cotton, to the edges of the nails and leave for a few seconds
» Using a cuticle stick gently push the cuticles away from the edges of the nails
» Rinse feet with clean warm water and pat dry, taking care to wipe thoroughly, especially between the toes
» Place cotton pads between toes and apply a base coat of nail polish to your nails. Once dry, use a color of your choice, finishing off with a final top coat, which helps to protect the nail.
» Once dry, apply moisturizer to your feet and massage your feet for at least five minutes.
HOME REMEDIES TO PAMPER YOUR FEET
Apart from the pedicure which should be preferably done every fortnight you could also treat your aching and tired feet to homemade foot soaks using essential oils and other natural ingredients.
» A basic method to soothe your aching tootsies would be to soak them for fifteen minutes in a tub of hot water with a cup of Epsom salt. The Epsom salt helps relax aching muscles improves blood circulation as well as aids in cleansing the foot.
» Fill a tub with warm water up to your ankles. Place a dozen marbles in the tub. Add 3 drops of tea tree oil, 3 drops of lavender oil and 3 drops of lemon extract. Now move your feet over the marbles and enjoy a wonderfully soothing and stimulating experience!
» Add one cup honey to a tub of warm water and soak feet for 10-15 minutes. Honey is a natural soothing agent and is also a good antiseptic.
» This soak is truly stimulating and is the latest trend in specialized pedicures: to a tub of warm water, add two cups of brewed filter coffee (not the instant type) and soak your feet for 10-15 minutes. Rinse, dry and moisturize feet.
» For treating cracked heels, mix one teaspoon Vaseline and the juice of one lime. Rub on the affected areas till it gets completely absorbed. You could also leave it on overnight by wearing a pair of protective woolen socks.
» The skin on the feet tends to get dry especially when exposed to extreme cold. An excellent home remedy to treat dry feet would be to mix half teaspoon vinegar to half a cup of curd and massage feet, heels and ankles with this. Wash off after five minutes.
» The feet are made up of flexible structures of bones, joints, muscles and soft tissue that enable us to stand, walk, run, dance, jump and more. This complex yet important part of our body contains 26 bones (25% of the bones found in the human body), 33 joints, 107 ligaments, and 19 muscles and tendons.
» They also contain approximately 250,000 sweat glands that excrete almost a quarter liter of moisture everyday!
» Women experience four times more foot problems than men, mainly due to their obsession for high heels.
» An average foot expands by almost five percent towards the end of the day.
» No two feet are the same size. One foot is often larger than the other.
» Only a very small percentage of people are born with foot problems. Most problems occur later due to neglect, poor hygiene, lack of awareness and proper care and bad choice of footwear.
» Ingrown Toenails, Corns, Calluses, Neuroma, Athletes Foot, Hammertoe and Bunions are a few of the common ailments affecting our feet.
I hope this article has made you aware of the importance of your feet and how to take care of them. So, go ahead, put your best foot forward, and give your feet the tender loving care they rightfully deserve!