Dry Skin? Athlete's Foot? Here's How To Make Your Gross Feet Look Nice
The Debrief: Urgh feet, can you not?
What is it with feet and them being, well, gross? Okay, stupid question. It’s probably because for about 10 months of the year (if we’re lucky) we keep them cooped up in sweaty trainers and boots and then, as soon as the warm weather arrives, we just expect them to be all dandy and nice. Basically, we’re taking the piss out of our poor feet so it's no surprise that when we whack on our sandals, they’re more than a little gnarly. Feet are just one of those things that are never going to be great (unless you have a foot fetish, then fair play, you like feet), so it’s about damage control. Here's how to control that damage.
Hard or Dry Skin
This is probably the most common foot problem and is pretty easy to deal with. Podiatrist Michael Harrison Blount explained that hard skin forms when there is excessive stress or friction on your feet: ‘This particularly happens on the ball of the foot, the edges of the heel and the tops, ends and sides of the toes.’ The hard skin tends to be yellow or white in colour. Nice.
To deal with it, it’s worth picking up a decent foot file like the Soap and Glory Foot Buffer, £8.75. If you’ve got a bigger budget to play with and hard skin is a big problem for you, it might be worth investing in something like the Scholl Velvet Smooth Express Pedi Electronic Foot File, £29.99 which is basically like a sander for your feet. Start by soaking your feet in warm water, you could try adding some lemon juice too because the acid helps soften the skin. Next, dry them off and start filing the areas with hard skin. Finish up with a moisturiser; my mum (hey, mum) swears by the Flexitol Heel Balm, £3.99 for sorting out her cracked heels. If you don't feel like you're in need of any heavy-duty foot-filing try exfoliating with a scrub like the Sanctuary Spa Pumice Foot Scrub, £2.50 and then apply a moisturiser. As usual, prevention is better than cure so Michael recommends exfoliating and moisturising feet daily to keep it at bay.
To start with, don’t Google image this. Not ever. Seriously. Now, if you've got athlete’s foot you will more than likely have itchy, red, ‘scaly’ patches between your toes, and if it’s really bad, on the sole and sides of your feet. 'Contrary to popular belief, athlete’s foot is not a result of poor hygiene. It’s common among sports people because it develops in warm and humid conditions in sports shoes because it encourages a common fungi to multiply,' explains Michael. So if you're cramming your feet into warm, sweaty shoes everyday, that could be to blame. It's important to deal athlete's foot as quickly as possible because it’s highly contagious and can be passed from person to person. It can also spread to your hands and nails which, obviously, you do not want. You can usually treat it at home with something like Daktarin’s Aktiv Spray Powder, £4.99 which is easier than applying a cream. if it doesn’t improve, it's time to see your doctor.
Turns out there’s an actual name for smelly feet: bromodosis. Smelly feet are caused by your feet sweating - there's more sweat glands in our feet than anywhere else on the body (crazy, right?) so it’s no wonder they can get pretty sweaty. The smell develops when the bacteria that’s naturally found on your feet (and all over your body) multiples because of the dark, damp conditions (from said sweat). This bacteria starts to feed on the dead skin and sweat and this is where the smell comes from. Gross, I know. There's a few things you can do to help like using a daily anti-bacterial wash like Hibiscrub Skin Cleanser, £5 which will kill bacteria and keep smells at bay. Be sure you regularly change your socks too and that the ones you're wearing are cotton because they help feet ‘breathe’. Sweaty shoes are another culprit so try to change your shoes regularly, rather than wearing the same pair day in day out. The perfect reason to buy new ones, so every cloud and all that.
Like this? Then you might also be interested in:
Follow Chemmie on Twitter @chemsquier
Picture: Eylul Aslan
At work? With your gran?
You might want to think about the fact you're about to read something that wouldn't exactly get a PG rating