Top tips to happy, healthy feet

Spoil those toes – and give yourself a total treat.

01 October 2004
by Shannon Smith

Your feet work harder than any other part of your body. Here's how to solve your toe woes.

Keeping feet fresh

  • Wash every day with an antibacterial soap and dry thoroughly
  • Use deodorising foot spray or powder
  • Socks and pantyhose should preferably be cotton or a wool blend to allow feet to breathe
  • Wear leather shoes as they breathe and don't trap air
  • Alternate shoes to give them time to dry out
  • Avoid getting body cream between toes as this encourages fungal growth

Ingrown toenails

  • If the toe is infected, soak it in warm, soapy water as often as possible – at least three or four times daily
  • To relieve pain, insert a small wad of cotton wool soaked in antiseptic under the nail to lift it away from the skin. If the infection is more severe, oral antibiotics or minor surgery may be necessary

Beat blisters

  • Never pop a blister: this increases the possibility of infection. Use lavender essential oil to accelerate the healing process. If the blister breaks open, trim off the loose skin, keep it clean and apply antiseptic ointment

Foot pain

  • Make sure your shoes fit properly
  • Have feet checked out by a professional to prevent long-term damage
  • To relieve foot pain, you need to build up the muscles in your feet. Daily, place a towel on the floor with your foot on top of it. Stretch your toes and move the towel towards you.

Pregnancy and feet - the lowdown

Pregnancy causes feet to swell and the extra weight can change the size of your feet permanently. During pregnancy, elevate your feet whenever you have a chance and use a foot spa to increase circulation and alleviate water retention. Have your feet measured after pregnancy to ascertain your correct shoe size. If you're still having problems, consult a podiatrist.