I am a Doc Martens fan and have been for years. Unfortunately, they are not the type of shoe that is as kind to your feet as running shoes, especially if you wear them every day, in rain, snow or sunshine. I wore them clubbing, at the office, at university, when I tended bar and even when I went hiking, and they never let me down, however, they did cause a lot of dead dry skin to develop. I did not even realise it was that big a deal until my mates commented on the terrible look of my feet while at the beach this summer. So I have been looking into how I can improve the health and looks of my feet and discovered that there were a couple of things I was doing wrong and some things I was not doing at all.
According to the Society of Chiropodists and Podiatrists, the first order of business is cleanliness. You need to wash your feet daily in warm soapy water. It gets rid of any smells that may develop, stops funguses from developing and is common sense really, as you wash most other parts of your body at least once a day. Funnily enough, the SCP recommends you not soak your feet every day, as it destroys natural oils. You should dry them thoroughly especially between the piggies.
This area between the toes is also the one place where you don’t want to apply cream or moisturiser if your skin is dry. Of course, it should be applied to the rest of the foot, where it can dry up and be absorbed. Also, foot powders should be applied lightly.
I generally ignored the areas of hard dead skin that had developed from wearing tough leather boots, but after the embarrassing incident at the beach, I went out and bought myself a pumice stone at a Bodyshop and I have been lightly exfoliating ever since. My soles feel much better and the stone does a better job than just picking at the dead skin. You have to be careful with the pumice stone as you must not use it on areas close to bones or joints, and if the skin is painful to go to a podiatrist or chiropodist.
Finally, and I was surprised to find out I was doing this wrong, you need to trim your nails straight across, and not into the corners, as this can lead to ingrown nails. For a person who goes on and on about common sense, I didn’t have the required amount to find out about this in the last few decades when clipping my toenails became my responsibility. My mum would be very upset.
For a complete guide to foot health, as well as information on what types of shoes to wear you, can visit the SCP website. Footcare and skin care creams and other items can be found at the Bodyshop or HealthyDirect.com.