If you can’t bear the thought of going without your routine foot care while self-isolating at home, don’t stress, we have some practical self-care tips for your feet to pretend you are relaxing at your Resonance Clinic having a real Podicure®. Alternatively, if you are out there on the front lines working hard as one of our appreciated essential workers, pass this guide on to someone at home to have them treat your feet – you deserve it!
First things first – file those feet!
Before you do anything, and while your skin is still dry, this is the best time to file your feet as the dry flaky skin will come away easily. You can use a foot file, or a pumice to gently buff off any areas of rough, dry skin. Areas to focus on are the heels, the outside edge of the foot, and around the big toe joint area and under the ball of the foot.
If you have an exfoliating scrub, now is the time to use it! (The amazing one which we use in clinic is a bamboo, avocado and jojoba blend.) If you don’t but are wanting to make one, then a simple mix of salt or sugar with a form of oil (think vegetable, olive, or coconut oil) will help to buff away any remaining dead skin and begin to moisturise your feet. This step is a lot easier if you have a helper – don’t forget to give them a good massage to work this into the feet.
Next up – soak ‘em
Soaking your feet in a foot bath (or simply soaking in a full-sized bath!) is a great way to continue to soften skin and help relax those muscles (and wash off your scrub). To aid with relaxation, you may wish to add epsom salts, or a few drops of your favourite essential oils to the bath. If you are only soaking your feet, we recommend doing so for around 10–15 mins – we don’t want your feet to go wrinkly as this means your skin is so soft it is at an increased risk of breaking when you’re working on them.
Then, trim those toenails
If your toenails need a trim now is the time to do it. They should be a bit softer than usual and that makes them easier to cut using at-home nail clippers. If you have plier style nippers like we use in clinic – great! If you don’t, that is also fine; just make sure to trim your nails at a gentle curve and right to the edges, being careful not to break the skin or rip the nail. If your nails are prone to becoming ingrown, take extra care – if they were last cut by us in clinic – try and follow the same shape we have cut them to. Use an emery board to gently file the ends of the nails to prevent leaving any sharp bits, which may catch on socks or sheets.
Finally – hydration and self massage
This is the one step you should do every day to help keep the skin texture of your feet in tip-top condition. Moisturising your feet will help to prevent cracks, splits, rough, and scaly skin texture and also means your skin will be able to heal more rapidly should any of the above occur. Using a good quality moisturiser is key – you want something which is specific to your skin type. The Gehwol moisturisers that we use in our clinics are some of the best options out there, as they are lipid- or oil-based moisturisers, which can be absorbed by our skin cells, rather than water-based which tend to sit on the surface of our skin. Hopefully you have something like this at home – something with a fat or oil base, like shea butter, cocoa butter, or coconut oil will work fine too. Give those feet a really good massage with this – work it in around the cuticles of the nails, along the bottom of the foot and arounds those heels. The only place you shouldn’t be applying it is between the toes – this can cause the skin to become too moist and lead to splits and skin breaks.
There you have it – those feet of yours should be feeling a lot more comfortable after this!
It won’t be quite the same as what we can offer you in our professional Podicure® setting, but hopefully can help to keep your feet feeling their best, whether you are staying safe at home or out keeping things running as one of our essential workers!