Back to Shoes - Be kind to your feet

Putting on shoes rather than sandals for the fist time in a while is one of those moments when I know that summer is nearing the end, shoes can feel constricting after summer sandals, but also comforting when my feet start to feel the cold. Time to think of being kind to my feet, a pedicure is nice treat and adds a splash of my favourite colour to my nails, but the best treat starts at home with a bit of self pampering.

A foot soak is so comforting, and if you have athletes’ foot, or have a fungal nail infection it can bring relief too.

For the foot soak, find a bowl that you can comfortably rest your feet in, mix 30g bicarbonate of soda into 3 litre of warm water (proportion bicarb 10g / 1lt water) soak your feet in this for 10-15 minutes (while deleting all the junk emails that have mounted up) The bicarbonate of soda alkalises the skin, helping to dispel that acidity that builds up when our feet sweat. - An alternative foot soak to bicarbonate of soda is to use sea salt.

Our feet work hard for us each and every day taking us from place to place, generally we take them for granted, until they sweat and get smelly. Sweating its self is not bad, just a natural way for the body to expel toxins, if the odour becomes pungent then it may be an indication of an imbalance that should be addressed.

If you are watching the clock, but would still like to indulge yourself try a 5 minute foot soak at the end of the day for a month, and see what a difference it makes, you can add a sprig of fresh thyme, or lavender oil to the soak to enhance the refreshing feeling. Once your in the habit continue washing your feet each night just like you clean your face and teeth at the end of the day, I prefer to use a natural soap, and then moisturise with the coconut oil to finish.

If you have a fungal infection on your toenail or athletes feet repeat the longer soak once or better still twice a day for 2 weeks, first cut the nail back as much as you can with nail scissors (clean them after each use with an alcohol wipe or antiseptic to prevent cross contamination). And afterwards dry your feet thoroughly with a clean towel / tissues / hairdryer on cool (no heat)

To finish, rub virgin coconut oil into your feet. Why coconut? Coconut oil is rich in lauric acid (a medium-chain saturated fatty acid) which is antimicrobial, antifungal and anti viral, massage the oil into the top and under the nails, in-between, all around the toes and in fact all over your feet as it helps to soften and nourish them.

Lastly sprinkle a little bicarbonate of soda into your shoes as fungus can lurk their unseen, and always wash socks and tights after each use. When ever possible wear open toe shoes to allow your feet to breath, and always wear flip-flops or sandals at the gym or spar to prevent catching or spreading any fungal infections.

An extra treat; Make a foot scrub from bicarbonate of soda to clean away the old dead skin, by making a paste of 1 tbs bicarb, ½ tbs sea salt with enough water to make a paste, rub this into and around your feet and toe nails, then wash off with fresh warm water.

Fungal infections are best treated from inside out, for more information on this contact me.

Susie Astbury