Foot and nail care tips for fabulous feet

Find out how these foot and nail care tips can help you give yourself great-looking feet.
Know your feet

Healthy toenails should be light flesh tone in colour with a half-moon crescent at the nail base. The thin layer of skin that will grow from the base is the cuticle. This important feature protects bacteria from getting underneath the nail, so never cut the cuticle. Healthy nails have a smooth surface so look out for lines, ridges or spots underneath the nail, which could signal a vitamin deficiency.

Clean and exfoliate

After a bath or shower is the best time to exfoliate the tough, callused areas of your feet. This is when skin will be at its softest. Alternatively, you can soak feet in bath soap and warm water for 15 minutes. Use a pumice stone to scrape the thickened areas of skin on the heels and balls of the feet. Pay attention to the toes during the summer months, when sandals can create tough spots.

Trim toenails

Dry feet thoroughly. Use nail clippers to trim straight across the top of each nail. Toenail nippers are handy for clipping toenails. This simple tool makes it easy to follow the natural shape of the nail. Avoid cutting the sides or rounding the corners, as this can invite ingrown nails, which is when the nail grows back into the skin. If your toenails are thick, use a series of small cuts. You want your toenails long enough to protect your toe, but short enough you can’t feel them in your shoes.

Use a nail file or emery board to smooth any sharp corners. Be careful not to trim nails too short, as that can expose the softer skin just underneath the nail and invite bacteria growth.

If you’re going to paint your toenails, wrap the end of a cuticle stick with a cotton ball to push the cuticles back. Trim any hangnails.

Deodorize

If you have sweaty or smelly feet, use a medicated foot powder daily to control odours and perspiration. Always dry feet thoroughly before applying to feet. For maximum control, sprinkle some powder in your shoes before wearing.

You can also add tea tree essential oil to a moisturizer and massage into your feet – what a treat! Let the moisturizer fully absorb before putting on socks, as moisture between the toes can lead to fungus. For chronic sweaty feet, change your socks regularly or, if weather permits, wear shoes that allow your feet to breathe.

Wear it right

Make sure your shoes fit correctly, as poor-fitting shoes can lead to recurring blisters, corns or worse. Poor-fitting shoes can cause trauma to the toe nails. Remember that feet can change as we age and after pregnancy. Shoes that may have fit years ago can suddenly irritate your feet. Don’t force it.

Proper foot and nail care is a step in the right direction to good foot health.

Foot and nail care tips for fabulous feet
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