Practical Foot Care Tips

Get pedicures monthly

Your feet need to be cared for. Here are some easy, practical tips.

Think you have the weight of the world on your shoulders? Well, imagine being your feet! They carry you from place to place and as a result, they often hurt, itch, develop calluses, crack, peel, suffer from ingrown toenails, get infected, grow corns, attract fungus, ache, throb, swell, and look — well, ugly! But with a few practical tips, you can improve the health and appearance of your feet with ease. Here are some tips and tricks for good foot care.

  • Inspect your feet regularly.Notice any changes in color, texture, or appearance. Treat rashes promptly and consult a podiatrist if your feet hurt or look unusual.
  • Maintain good foot hygiene every day.Wash your feet, scrub between your toes, and clean your toenails. Dry feet thoroughly after washing.
  • Moisturize and hydrate the skin of your feet from top to bottom.Find a cream or lotion that works well for your skin type, and massage on feet each night before bed.
  • Be a smart shoe shopper.Wear shoes that fit and don’t hurt. Avoid squeezing feet into narrow fronts or small sides. Spend money on quality shoes, and don’t wear the same shoes two days in a row — feet sweat, and sweaty shoes need at least 24 hours to dry.
  • Tend to your toenails.Cut them straight across and strengthen them with a nail hardener to avoid splitting. File toenails with an emery board to keep them smooth.
  • Smooth the soles of your feet with a clean pumice stone.
  • Don’t cut calluses with a razor blade, nail clippers, or any other knife, as this can not only lead to infection but also cause calluses to grow back even harder.
  • Massage toe cuticles with petroleum jelly to keep them soft, and push them back with an orange stick to prevent overgrowth.
  • Walk when you can, heel to toe, in comfortable supportive shoes, to strengthen foot muscles.
  • Don’t walk barefoot, as this can cause injury to your feet.
  • If you go to a gym, shower in waterproof shoes.Showering and walking barefoot in public places can lead to athlete’s foot, an itchy fungus.
  • Put sunblock on your feet when wearing sandals or open-toed shoes.
  • Opt for cotton socks whenever possible, as rayon, nylon, and polyester induce sweating, which breeds fungus, odor, and itch.
  • Get pedicures monthly— and bring your own tools! The tools in nail salons may not be sterile or safe to use and could cause infection. Your pedicure tool kit should include:
    • Emery board
    • Pumice stone
    • Orange stick
    • Nail clippers
    • Cuticle nippers
    • Nail polish

With a few practical foot care tips, you can maintain healthy feet that feel good and look good too!

Last Updated: Monday, August 15, 2011

This material is written by members and has not been medically reviewed. You should not rely on this information as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. The use of this information is solely at your own risk.