Is there any part of the body we use more than our feet? you'd be hard pressed to find a part of your body that goes through as much pressure in a day than our feet. We walk on them, run on them and stand on them. Pre-exercise on a normal day the average human does five miles a day, that's 10,000 steps and that's the minimum when you consider people with physical jobs and extensive workout routines. So after all this activity in one day just imagine what your foot goes through in a week, month and year... worrying. With the feet going through what they do it's also important to note that it's one of those areas of the body that aren't visible to ourselves and others very often so sometimes it's only natural that sometimes we don't give our feet the attention they deserve. Although the pedicure industry is rapidly growing in modern life it's hard to find the time and the constant funs to have your feet looked after in accordance to amount they go through everyday.
So in this blog we are going to identify the causes of cracked and worn feet and letting you know the best way to take care of one of the most vital parts of your body that goes through the most.
It's safe to say that when most of us moisturise our bodies that we usually focus on those parts most visible to ourselves and others, a category that your feet rarely fall under unfortunately. No moisture as we all know equals dry skin that can end up being intensely irritable and something that is not visually pleasing at all. For those who are fortunate enough to live in a warmer part of the world need to be extra cautious of this as the sun and humidity can speed up the process of dryness of the skin - especially the feet.
Tying in to the last point of heat and humidity leading to dry cracked feet open toe or heel footwear can accelerate dryness as these are open to sunlight and direct heat without the opportunity to sweat and create moisture (gross we know sorry) that the foot needs in such conditions. As you'll find with a lot of open footwear wether it be sandals, sliders or flip flops they are usually wood or hard plastic based which also amplifies cracked heels and balls. The largest risk with open and exposing footwear is the potential exposure to water. Water to dry feet, a bad thing? you may be asking but water can actually deprive your feet of the natural essential oils that keep them moist and healthy. Standing or walking for long periods with wet feet can cause dryness as well as nasty blisters - which aren't fun for anyone.
Although closed shoes and trainers much safer alternatives for your feet it's best to ensure that hey perfectly fit because there's not much worse than a shoe that's too tight rubbing on your heel all day.
Deficiencies and conditions
Doing all the above right and still getting irritated dry feet? It might be due to something you're missing in your diet and lifestyle. Foot care experts Scholl say that "lack of vitamins, minerals and zinc in your diet can adversely affect your heel health." The most common sign of any deficiency is dry and scaly skin so just imagine that combined with the fact that the feet are one the driest parts of the human anatomy...very uncomfortable. Deficiencies are mainly caused by omitting essential food groups from your diet or in more serious cases are due to certain parts of your body unable to correctly process vitamins or minerals so it's always worth consulting your GP first if you're concerned
Look, we get it, in modern life it's hard to balance our work, social lives and our relationships. Unfortunately sometimes when balancing all of these we sometimes neglect our own health and what's really important. It's important to stay on top of looking after our feet and this doesn't necessarily meant an expensive trip to the salon - by just staying on top of cleaning our feet we can easily prevent future serious problems with our feet. It's also of paramount importance to keep the body in shape to as if you're carrying a little too much weight than you can handle just imagine the pressure on your feet! Having excess weight also makes your skin less flexible therefore when the pressure is applied to your feet they feel the negative effects two fold and end up severely cracked.
There are unfortunately a lot of pretty common medical disorders out there that come straight for our feet. They can range from the easily treatable that being the likes of Athletes foot, Psoriasis and Eczema. The more serious cases of medical disorders that can effect the could be diabetes or a thyroid issue - best to seek a GPs expert before self diagnosis though! Athletes foot, or tinea pedis for the more medically inclined of us is cracked feet but to a level you never wanted to know it could go. Essentially, it's a very nasty fungal infection that usually engulfs the whole sole of the foot making it look like you've just ran a barefoot marathon on a beach. The condition occurs when your feet come into direct contact with multiple kinds of fungi, these lurk in locations such as swimming pools, locker rooms and items such shared towels. The best ways to prevent this are by wearing footwear in communal areas, changing socks everyday and avoid prolonged usage of your feet without breaks.
But it's not all bad news... here are the solutions
Soak and exfoliate
Don't let the people down at your local pedicure convince you that you cant do what they do at home; sure it may not be as good as theirs but it's certainly better than having cracked feet! This one is super simple and can be done easily at home and isn't too time consuming all you need is some warm water and about 20 mins of your time and find yourself a foot scrub, loofah or pumice stone and go to work. As soon as you're satisfied with your homemade pedicure it's important pat dry your feet to avoid any unnecessary rubbing and irritation then finish off with a good moisturise.
Taking care of your feet shouldn't require breaking the bank and making trips to specialty stores to pick up some weird sounding project you know nothing about. Some of the things that can treat your sore feet can literally be sat in your cupboard going unused right now - remember that coconut oil you picked up for that one recipe and haven't used since? get it on them heels! Coconut oil is recommended for dry skin, eczema and psoriasis as it helps the skin retain moisture preventing dryness. Coconut oil also has anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial qualities that soothe your feet if they are cracked. Honey is also said to have similar qualities that benefit the feet as research has shown that honey can both moisturise and heal a broke foot, it can also be used in a foot mask overnight which leads us to out next point...
So you may have heard of a face mask before, maybe even a hair mask... but a foot mask? whats's that all about you may be thinking, but trust us these are the way forward. The foot mask consists of chemicals that essentially completely shed off your skin in about 2-3 days restoring your feet back to "baby feet"and completely ridding you of cracks and calluses. The process of applying them is pretty simple all you have to do is apply the strangle looking mask to your feet whilst sat down with your feet above the ground and wait for about 20 minutes the mask to work it's magic. The beauty of it is that after those 20 minutes the process is far from over, no you will see the results anytime from 2-5 days as the skin sheds itself all off revealing your new "baby feet". This fairly new phenomenon is definitely a wave worth riding if you suffer from cracks, calluses or simply want to have your feet looking amazing for slider season.
So with all that being said...
With cracked feet, calluses or blisters and like most things, it's better to prevent rather than have to cure. If you are like the majority of use who are too far gone there are clearly loads of proven ways homemade or professional to fix your feet. Anything that we've forgotten to mention, discovered yet or have you got any of your own special home made methods? Please comment below as ourselves and plenty of others would love to know! Together we can all cure the cracks and never have to go through this uncomfortable ailment ever again.