Feet are among the most neglected parts of the body, though they happen to be the most hardworking appendages, says Dr. Shehnaz Arsiwala, M.D, D.D.V, Consultant Skin & Hair Specialist, Cosmetic Dermatosurgeon & Laser Specialist attached to Saifee Hospital, Mumbai. Apparently, the skin on the feet are home to the highest number of dead cell layers. “Let’s suppose the dead cells on the rest of your skin are 6 layers deep; on your feet, they are 20 layers thick! Secondly, cracks in the heels occur when moisture and oil content in the skin are missing. These openings allow pollutants, dust particles, bacteria and fungi to gain easy access into the skin, leaving your feet vulnerable to infection,” warns Dr. Arsiwala. Here, she prescribes few tips that’ll keep your feet feeling and looking healthy and happy.
TLC FOR YOUR FEET Before you go to bed, have a warm shower and use a pumice stone on the heels to scrub away dead skin. Then try this DIY pedicure once in 15 days. Soak your feet in a tub of warm water for 10 minutes. Rub an exfoliator all over your feet and between your toes to stimulate circulation. Your exfoliant should contain one or more of these ingredients – rock salt, marine algae, peppermint, oatmeal, corn starch, tea tree oil, ceramides. Leave on for 20 minutes and then wash off. Clip and shape the toe nails. Use a nail filer and work in a very gentle back-and-forth motion from corner to corner. Work on the rough skin and calluses. Gently nudge the cuticles back. Dry your feet and massage on a heavy duty foot cream containing softeners (like white paraffin), a moisturizer with squalene oxidease (for extra dry feet) or humectants (glycerin) and vegetable oil (coconut, olive, castor, avocado) which stay in the skin longer. Pull on an old pair of socks to protect your feet and let the foot cream work its magic while you sleep.
WEAR COMFORTABLE FOOTWEAR Yes, we all are fashion addicts, but try to opt for comfortable shoes especially while travelling. Uncomfortable shoes can cause your feet to tire out faster, leaving you with aches and pains at the end of the day.
WORK THEM OUT If your job keeps you tied to the desk all day, periodically, stretch your legs and rotate your feet at the ankles to improve blood flow. A daily walk will keep your feet healthy too.
AISHWARYA P. VAIDYA