It’s no secret that the skin on the soles of the feet is the thickest on the body. The feet are responsible for carrying all the weight, a task no other body part can claim. The skin might be tough, but the feet are quite sensitive and have thousands of sweat glands that are just as absorbent. With a high concentration of nerve endings in the feet, they are more sensitive and important than most people realize. Taking care of the feet, translates to taking care of the entire body.
On average, Americans spend $6.16 billion a year in nail salons according to Nails magazine. Women make up 96% of those visiting nail salons, and 93% of the services provided in these salons are pedicures. Women love to be pampered, to look nice, and most importantly to wear strappy open-toe sandals. Pedicures are great, but there are precautions that everyone should be aware of before they slip their tootsies into the bowl of water and get lost in the vibrating massage chair. Make it a point to ask the nail technician to clean the bowl in front of you. Most likely they will tell you it has already been cleaned, and it may have been, but it’s better to see them roll their eyes than possibly catch a foot fungus. Have you ever been inconvenienced with a foot bacteria? Do you know someone who swore off corner nail shops because they literally got “burned?” It’s no fun, just ask them to clean the bowl…takes maybe a few minutes.
Stop walking around barefoot. Stop walking around barefoot in your home and especially in public (pet peeve). The pores in the feet absorb most everything they touch, making the entire body susceptible to viruses, fungi, bacteria and anything else lurking on the ground. Most people do not think twice about walking around with bare feet. Most people figure the skin is thick, so a good foot wash will be fine; rid the feet of all the dirt and the end. However, the truth is that those pores need to stay clean so they don’t become clogged and damage nerve endings that are connected to other parts of the body. It’s something simple, but a foul that can be seen in major cities, in the country, at an amusement park, and especially at a nightclub where women retire their heels when their feet start to throb (biggest pet peeve). In the house, especially homes where shoes go past the front door and pets roam freely, feet are still exposed to every foot evil on the outdoors. Going out in your six inch stilettos? Slip a pair of rolled flats into your purse. Going to the kitchen to grab a glass of water? Put on your house shoes.
Have you ever come home from a long day and break out your foot soaker? Can you sit for extended periods of time with your feet in soapy hot water? Well, as relaxing as it might be, Dr. Marc Brenner, a New York based podiatrist, is not a fan of this popular end of day habit. Transform Your Soles: A Guide to Foot Health Awareness, a tips booklet written by Dr. Brenner and Microplane says, “Avoid soaking your feet for extended periods as this can strip the natural moisture from your skin, and dry skin can lead to infections,” says Dr. Brenner. “After washing, dry feet thoroughly, paying special attention to the skin between toes. Remember to apply a thin coat of lotion or cream to the tops and bottoms of your feet, but not between your toes. Moisture between toes can be a breeding ground for infection-causing germs, making powder between your toes an excellent idea.”
Another one of the great tips offered in the Microplane guide, is most likely another habit that people do not incorporate into their daily lives. Most people sleep with socks on in the winter time, because it is cold outside, but Dr. Brenner says this is something we should be doing every night. “At night, apply a small amount of moisturizer to your feet and cover them with thick, soft socks. Do not use heating pads or hot water bottles, as turning up the heat on feet can cause irritation and more serious foot issues.”
These tips are not just for women, the same goes for the men. You may or may not be wearing open toe shoes on your wedding day, but your mate will certainly see your feet that night, on the honeymoon, and for the rest of your life. You don’t have to keep regular appointments at the nail salon, which can become costly. Foot care maintenance can be handled at home. With the proper tools anyone can exfoliate their feet, care for their cuticles, keep the nails trimmed, and should they care to add color they can. Microplane is actually a great place to start.
Keep the tootsies healthy…there are a lot of people out there turned on by feet. To each his own!
How often do you get pedicures?
Do ever have a home spa day? If so, what are your go-to tools?