Your feet are highly susceptible to ailments that can be uncomfortable, embarrassing or plain irritating, such as athlete’s foot, fungal nail and cracked skin. Both natural and medicated treatments are available for these common foot problems, but simple preventative methods can also help to maintain your strong and healthy feet. Caring for your feet this year could be the new resolution that not only makes a difference to your health, but to your confidence too!
Athlete’s foot and fungal nail are two of the most common fungal foot infections. These infections are contagious in nature, and are caused by warm environments that breed fungus and attack the skin on and around your feet (Solace Foot Health & Reflexology, 2017). Athlete’s foot symptoms can range from itchy rashes to peeling skin (Scholl1, 2017), whilst fungal nail discolours your toenails and can even cause your nail to crumble (Scholl2, 2017). The following preventive methods can be added into your daily routine to ensure that you are less likely to encounter the itchy, uncomfortable side effects of fungal foot infections.
Drying your feet properly after a shower is the first preventative step to take to avoid fungal infections. Ensuring your feet are completely dry before you start your day or go to bed makes it more likely your feet will stay cool and clean, preventing fungus from forming and multiplying quickly. Wearing dry and well-fitting socks on those lovely, dry feet also prevents fungus from forming.
If it is too late for preventative methods, or your feet are prone to fungal infections no matter what you do, then there are simple treatments available for you to try. Most athlete’s foot treatment revolves around keeping feet dry, like the Scholl Athlete’s Foot Powder that helps to destroy athlete’s foot fungi whilst easing the itchy side effects and reducing the chance of reinfection. The Scholl Fungal nail treatment treats toenail fungus with a discrete liquid that also averts further spread and reoccurrence.
Symptoms of an ingrown toenail can be inflammation around the toenail, overgrown skin, bleeding or a build-up of fluid in the surrounding area of the toe (NHS, 2017). Cutting nails carefully in a straight line, using a good quality nail file or even treating yourself to a regular pedicure can all prevent the occurrence of an ingrowing toenail.
In this case, prevention is easier than treatment. However, softening the surrounding skin with olive oil or warm water is a simple treatment method that can encourage the ingrown nail to grow out. Adding Epsom salts to a foot-soak also helps to soothe inflammation and reduce swelling (Skin Solace, 2017).
If you want quicker results with less fuss, the Scholl Ingrowing Toenail Kit is a simple two-step solution that helps to relieve pain and stimulate straight-growth of the ingrown nail. Including a cooling spray and toenail straightening clip, this easy, do-it-yourself treatment improves the irritating symptoms of an ingrown nail by soothing inflammation.
Warts and verrucas
Warts and verrucas are caused by a virus, and are more likely to spread in a wet or damaged environment (The London Skin and Hair Clinic, 2017). As warts and verrucas can be spread through touch, washing your hands, wearing clean socks, keeping your skin clean and dry and covering any damaged skin with plasters are great preventative methods to include in your daily routine.
If you have a wart or verruca, cover it with a plaster and take care not to cut or scratch it in order to avoid further infection. If a wart or verruca is causing you too much pain or embarrassment, they can be removed by your GP. You can purchase home kits, such as the Scholl Freeze Verruca & Wart Remover, which are based on the freezing method used by healthcare professionals.
Dry feet can lead to painful cracks in the skin, which make you susceptible to infections and daily discomfort. There are plenty of ways you can keep your beautiful feet feeling soft by spending an extra few minutes dedicated to your skincare routine.
Simple methods that can help you both avoid and heal cracked skin includes moisturizing your feet well and often, and filing down the hard skin to reveal silky-smooth heels underneath. Foot-specific creams, such as the Scholl Hard Skin Softening Cream, are specifically designed to soften the outer layer of hard skin so it can be easily removed with a foot file.
Healthy feet are confident feet, so enhance your footcare regime and follow our top tips on preventing these common foot ailments. Strut your stuff with feet to be proud of this New Year!
Scholl1 (2017) Athlete’s Foot
Scholl2 (2017) How to Treat Fungal Nail