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Put your feet first!

Updated: Apr 5, 2021



As a Podiatrist I often get asked how we should look after our feet and my answer is always "Keep it simple!" From experience I have found that a simple, easy to remember foot care regime is more effective in the maintenance of healthy feet and you're more likely to continue it. We have a habit of taking great care of our feet during the warmer months and rightly so as we like to show them off in our new sandals but we should try and adopt this care throughout the whole year and not just for summer. So have a read of my easy steps on how to maintain a healthy foot regime along with some of my favourite products and start putting your feet first!



  1. Foot File and Emery boards

This is a number one go to. Foot files and emery boards are great for the reduction and removal of hard, dry skin. Depending on the severity of hard skin (otherwise known as callus) will depend on how often you should be using these. Depending on the condition of your feet some people will use a foot file between 1-3 times a week. Little but often is good to remember; filing for a few minutes but maybe 3 times a week. I recommend you file your skin whilst dry, mainly before you get in the shower, so you can get as much skin off as possibly (you will start to see the emery board going white; which tends to be dry skin which has been removed from your feet). If you find you have a larger build up of hard skin (callus) which isn't improving with filing weekly then you may need to book in with a podiatrist for appropriate management and treatment. Please note, When I say foot file, I mean a rasps paper one! Don't be buying any metal cheese graters as this can cause alot of damage to health skin. When it comes to nail care and using clippers/nippers, make sue you get yourself is a comfort and safe position. I have seen many people trying to cut their nails with the feet somewhere behind the head and they almost always either catch the skin or leave a nail spike. So if you can try and have your foot resting on either a chair/low table and always always alway cut straight across in a horizontal line, then use a emery board to curve around the corners of the nail if needs be. Do not attempt to cut down the side of your nail as incorrect technique can causing either a nail spike or shard of nail remaining and result in an ingrown nail. You will never be able to properly remove any ingrown nails yourself as you physically cannot get into the position to do so and therefore if you do suffer form these you should consult a podiatrist for appropriate removal and treatment. Like with hard skin, if you aim to file your nails once a week and keep on top of them, you will not need to use clippers as much.


2. Exfoliate and/or Foot scrub


After using your foot file before getting in the shower, you can then use a simply foot scrub or exfoliator to remove any excess skin/debris which may still be on your feet. By working the exfoliator into the areas of hard skin/fissures (cracks which appear on heels/other areas of the feet) you are ensuring you have properly cleansed the skin and removed any grime which make have built up. Always remember to wash in between your toes as this is where fungus can lay dormant. Once out the shower, dry feet thoroughly and properly both underneath and on top of the foot and in between the toes!


3. Emollient/Foot cream


I can't stress enough the importance of a good foot emollient and the impact it can have on your feet. There are thousand of brands out there all claiming to do weird and wonderful things to your feet. But don't be put off by this, once you know what you are looking for, it will make it easier to pick out the right cream for you! Firstly, depending on your foot condition will depend on the type of cream you use but the one key ingredient you're looking for is Urea. Within the layers of our skin we have natural moisturising factors (NMFs) which keep our skin hydrated. So if we lack NMFs, it leaves us with dry skin which can build up and crack over time. Urea is a natural moisturising factor and therefore any cream which contains this will put hydration back into our skin and help improve it's protective barrier. Depending on the severity of your hard skin will depend on which % of urea you use. Most creams tend to come in 10% and 25%, the latter being more harsh on your skin and therefore should only be used for a short amount of time. Also remember to read the labels of correct application; I always give a guide of the size of 10p. You don't need to lather your feet in cream. If after 5 minutes, it hasn't fully absorbed then wipe it off because enough will have and you'll only leave yourself at risk of slipping or ruining the bedding.


So Keep it Simple! File, Exfoliate and Cream.


Products:


Foot files/emery boards

You can pick up any good foot file in all supermarkets and pharmacies, for example tesco, Boots, Asda, Superdrug as well as online Amazon and any online beauty sites. Shops will have a range of products available for you to browse and try but remember it doesn't have to be expense. You can buy a pack of 10 emery boards from Amazon for just £3.94 whereas Boots will charge you this for just the one! Clippers/Nippers are more preferable to use than scissors. You can purchase these in any shops and online. Nippers tend to be more expensive for a good pair but once you have them, you have them for a long time. Remember to wash your clippers/nippers with soap and water or use antibacterial wipes after every use.

Foot File

£3.36

Boots






Nail Clippers

£1.39

Superdrug



Nail Nippers

£7.59

Dr Scholl






Emollient/Foot Cream


Flexitol

One of the nations favourite! A lot of Podiatrist recommend Flexitol to patients as it has amazing effectives in the reduction of dry, hard skin. It is non-greasy and therefore can be applied at any time of the day which best suits you without causing any discomfort in socks or bedclothes. Depending on the severity of your hard skin, will depend on which % you use, Flexitol 25% Heel balm does what is says; it improves the condition of your heels and helps to prevent any breakdown within the skin. Once this has been used for a few days, research has shown great improvement in the appearance of skin. After this it is recommended to use the 10% foot moisturising cream to help maintain foot conditions.



Flexitol 25% 56g

£3.82- £5.09

Boots






Flexitol 10% 85g

£4.74

Superdrug


500g

£16.60

Express Chemist (online)

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