Should You Clean Your Feet?
I didn’t even realize this was in question, to be honest. However, the internet has spoken, and I am but a humble servant of the people. Again, here I am bringing you the latest and greatest in terms of foot health! Alright, so, that’s not entirely true. Not in this case, anyways. I definitely talk about a lot of new, relevant topics, and this one seems pretty age-old, speaking realistically. But this is an important topic that really should be discussed. You’ve got to know the risks of not washing your feet, and what can become a result of this.
Too many people I’ve spoken to admit to neglecting this crucial area. My question is always, “How do you feel clean!?”. I know that the standard is apparently letting the water clean you, but by the time it gets to your feet, it’s dirty from washing off the rest of you. In short, it’s gross. Come on, guys. We can do better.
Taking care of your body is important in general. You need to know the basic landscape and do a check for anything out of place almost daily. This is crucial in determining odd growths or problems before they become bigger odd growths or bigger problems. That’s definitely something you want to avoid. Your feet are no different! You should give them a once over as often as you can. Hint: that should be every day when you get to clean them in the shower.
So, that really brings us to the end of me rambling about nothing in particular. I’m not going to fool myself. I know you didn’t come here for lil’, ol’ me. You came here to read about a topic that, while not fascinating, is absolutely necessary (apparently).
The real question here is, “Why not wash?”. To be fair, intuitively it seems that letting them soak in the water a little bit would do a good enough job. There’s a reason, however, that we wear sandals in public showers, however, and the reason behind this is, of course, germs. Your feet are absolutely covered in microorganisms, just like the rest of your body. This means that they can easily be disrupted and cause an infection, whether it be fungal or otherwise. Ingrown toenails can flare up and cause endless amounts of pain, and sometimes even swelling and other unpleasant symptoms.
Giving yourself a once over from the ankles down helps you keep the bacteria fresh and good. It gets rid of any grime, including under your toenails (guys, come on! Gross!). Give yourself a little massage, feel over for anything weird, and then you’re done. It takes all of ten minutes and really gives you a good idea of what’s going on.
Plus, y’know, it helps with foot odor and the presence of, again, bad bacteria.
What To Wash With
There are several different options for foot-related body wash. Regular, ol’ body washes also works, but if you have an infection or need special treatment there are better options out there. Just make sure you’re choosing something that is antibacterial, preferably and gets good and foamy.
As for the two “specialized types” mentioned above, I’ll briefly go over them below.
- Antibacterial: This covers a wide variety of soap. Many of them have antibacterial properties, but one specially made to be antibacterial is your best bet. You can find them at basically every store out there. They’re pretty common and therefore not hard to find!
- Antifungal: I won’t go too deeply into this topic. In fact, I actually have a blog for it here if you want to check that out. Antifungal is best for when you have an infection of sorts, or you want to take preventative measures against one. I suggest this for college students or gym-goers. Any place where you’re going to be in group showers, you want to have an antifungal treatment at the ready.
What To Watch Out For
As mentioned, checking your body over regularly can save you a lot of time and money… and possibly even help your health more than you know. Any strange growths or abnormalities should be brought up to your doctor or dermatologist immediately so that you can make sure they aren’t more sinister than they may originally seem.
One thing that you definitely want to watch out for is a growing bunion. These don’t often affect younger populations, but I’m the exception there. If you are as well, ask your doctor about it. There is a surgery you may need in order to correct it before it gets worse- and you want to do that as early as possible if it’s bad enough. You’ll heal more quickly when you’re young!
Hammertoe can also present a problem for quite a few people. Make sure that your toe isn’t curling in more than usual, and bring it up to your doctor or podiatrist if it seems worrisome. There isn’t much you can do for hammertoe, but there are certain toe separators that can help correct the issue. If you’re trying to correct it, make sure to keep a watch so you can ensure the treatment of your choice is actually working.
Growths, of course, are a topic of concern. This can be a sign of a benign or harmless, tumor, which needs to be removed. It could also be a sign of a malignant tumor, which is significantly worse. Malignant tumors are cancerous and must be treated immediately and effectively. Your best bet to recover is to make sure you’re getting radiation and medication as soon as you find it.
How To Wash Your Feet
While this may seem like a simple task, there are a few things that you want to keep in mind.
Firstly, don’t forget to, again, check for anything that seems out of place! I can’t stress the importance of this task enough. I won’t harp on it anymore (… probably), but just know that you need to do it. So, do it.
You also want to make sure you’re hitting all the areas. Go in between your toes, and scrub under the nails. Get any and all dirt out of even the nooks and crannies. Make sure the soap is super foamy and that it’s getting the job done.
Don’t forget to take care of your toenails, too! That’s a topic all it’s own, but keep reading because below I have a short guide on some simple starting points. Better toe health is better health in general! Your feet carry you everywhere. You want them to work, guys. So, take care of them properly! Treat your feet right, and they’ll return the favor.
Toe Nail Care
Keeping your toenails taken care of it also highly important. It keeps them from growing out of control, lessens the risk of ingrown toenails, and will keep your feet looking way better. Some people prefer to get bi-weekly pedicures, which is a great option. You can do it for yourself at home if you don’t have the time, or money, or motivation to get them done at a spa, too.
If you’re going to do your toenail care at home, just keep a few things in mind.
- Use the right clippers. This is so, so incredibly important. The smaller clippers for fingernails aren’t going to be useful and can leave oddly cut angles. This puts you at a higher risk of an ingrown toenail… So, basically what we’re trying to avoid. Larger clippers allow you to get a more even cut on the larger nails.
- File them properly. Make use of that file that comes on clippers! Or, get one that you like better. It’s not included with the clippers for aesthetics, guys. Filing your nails is an important step for keeping them even and looking alright. Some files have a polishing cloth on the flat side, so those might be a better match-up if you like that sort of thing.
- Paint them. There is nothing better than cute, little toenails that are painted a fun color. This can help solve a lot of problems surrounding you being weird about people seeing your feet. It absolutely upgrades the look by a million and makes you look super put together. Everybody loves a good pedicure!
- Wax if needed. Honestly? This one is pretty self-explanatory. If you’re okay with the hair, that’s one thing. A lot of people like to get rid of it, however, since it can be unsightly. Waxing comes down to personal preference, but it can add a clean touch. You can do this at home, or you can go to a place that does waxing. Make sure the person in charge of doing it is qualified and has done many, many waxings in their time.
That concludes the important topic of foot washing, and why you really need to do it! It’s more sanitary than letting them soak in the dirty water that sloughs off your body, guys. We’re going for sanitary and good-smelling on the NicerShoes blog. Join us if you want to. Trust me, it’s a much better place to be. Less smelly, for sure!
On the topic of smelly stuff, check out my DIY articles! I have a bunch of them on different methods of keeping your feet smelling fresh. From aromatherapeutic massage oil to spritzing bottles for treating bad odor, and even DIY all-natural sneaker balls, I’ve got it all covered. Don’t go another day with the shame that foot odor can bring. Get it figured out, and solve it for good! And, on that note, let me help you do just that.