PLAY­ING FOOT­SIE

Health & Nutrition - - HEALTHY LOOKS -

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

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