Take a step in the right direction with expert foot-care tips and homemade remedies.
Almonds: iStock; Rosemary, Ginger, Pepper, Butter: Unique Michael
In florida, open-toed shoes are worn year round because of the ideal climate. And it’s important to take care of your feet—not just so they look good, but because a lack of foot hygiene could result in the development of fungus, calluses, and even infection. Fortunately, there are simple at-home techniques to prevent these complications. Skincare specialist Kimberlea Isaac, founder of Pure Blends Organic Spa & Apothecary in Winter Park, weighs in on proper foot care. Plus, check out three recipes for common foot issues.
What’s the best daily foot care regimen?
Cleanse feet once or twice a day. In the shower, use a pumice stone to exfoliate the heel and hardened areas. Use lotion after your shower. If your cuticles are dry, try using almond oil or olive oil.
Why should I exfoliate my feet?
Exfoliation prevents fissures, cracks and infection. Don’t exfoliate every day because you don’t want your skin feeling raw. I’d recommend doing it two to three times a week.
What are common foot problems to look out for?
Toenail fungus is a huge one. Fungus is noticeable when the nail begins to yellow and lift off the nail bed. Plantar warts are also very common—and contagious. They are generally the size of a pencil eraser. For women, bunions can form on the joint at the base of the big toe. They usually form when the toes are pressed together, often from wearing tight shoes.
When do you absolutely need to see a podiatrist?
When you have any kind of toenail fungus that’s visible. We also recommend going to the podiatrist if the client is having pain that massages and pedicures can’t remedy. Medical intervention is also necessary when there are warts, athlete’s foot, etc.
How does one prevent athlete’s foot?
Athlete’s foot stems from being in a warm, moist environment. You can catch it from showers, especially at the gym. In summertime, it’s even common at water parks. The best way to prevent it would be to wear flip-flops in public showers or public places where there is water. If you sweat, you should change your socks frequently. The key is to inhibit moisture, because heat and moisture breed bacteria.
What’s your top foot-care secret?
I use a sugar scrub and take advantage of the natural glycolic acid that comes from sugar. It helps keep my skin hydrated and is a gentle exfoliant. I scrub my feet with a blend of sugar, olive oil, and tea tree essential oil.
Regain your footing with these homemade remedies.
Rosemary and Tea Tree Foot Powder
3 drops of tea tree essential oil
3 drops of witch hazel essential oil
2 drops of rosemary essential oil
¾ cup of cornflower powder
Combine ingredients and gently whisk. Transfer powder into an airtight container. Sprinkle powder on feet after showering. For extended fresh feet, sprinkle powder inside of shoes.
Almond & Cream Foot Scrub
1/2 cup of ground almonds
1 cup of shea butter
1/2 cup of brown sugar
Combine ingredients in blender and purée until smooth. Transfer mixture into an airtight container. Apply to damp skin and gently scrub. Rinse off with warm water before drying.
Ayurvedic Foot Wrap
¼ cup of ground cinnamon
¼ cup of freshly chopped ginger
2 tablespoons of black pepper
3 cups of water
Combine ingredients in a pot and bring to a boil. Let ingredients steep for 5 minutes. Transfer contents to a large bowl and allow to cool for five to seven minutes. Place four small hand towels into the mixture to soak for one minute. Remove one hand towel, squeeze to strain excess tincture, and wrap feet. Remove towel when cold. Repeat the process for 10 minutes.