Putting your best foot forward: Doctor’s case for not skipping your daily foot wash

A doctor recommends scrubbing your feet thoroughly to maintain proper foot health. Source: Getty Images.

We’re all guilty of it. Letting the soapy water wash over your feet in the shower hoping this will give them a good clean.

While it may seem like a mundane task, according to Dr Poonam Desai, washing your feet thoroughly is essential for maintaining overall hygiene and preventing various health issues.

Taking to Instagram last week, the doctor was adamant that too many people do not wash their feet with soap and water and instead are just letting the soapy water from their shower wash over them.

She said people are neglecting to wash their feet thoroughly and this includes cleaning between their toes and scrubbing their heels.

She added that not washing your feet properly could lead to other issues such as bad odour, bacteria and fungus build-up, blisters, callouses and dry, cracked heels.

“Just letting soap and water wash your feet may not be enough for hygiene,” Dr Desai said in her Instagram video.

“Don’t just let the soapy water run down your body and kind of passively wash your feet. What I mean is you need to use soap and water to scrub your feet.

“The reason is if you don’t wash your feet regularly, it could lead to a stinky odour and that is bacteria building up in there causing an odour.

“It could also lead to dry, crackly skin and calluses, as well as bacterial and fungal infection, especially if you end up with a cut down there that could lead to an infection.”

Dr Desai recommends giving them some TLC by spending extra time in the shower and giving them a proper scrub.

Our feet endure a significant amount of wear and tear throughout the day, accumulating sweat, dirt, and bacteria. Proper foot health is often disregarded until complications such as bunions arise.

Bunions, foot pain, and discomfort can significantly impair our capacity to carry out daily tasks, such as standing and walking, leading to reduced physical activity and a more sedentary lifestyle.

As we grow older, our feet undergo a range of changes making us more vulnerable to such conditions. The fat pads on the bottom of our feet tend to thin out, resulting in reduced cushioning and a heightened risk of pain and injury. Skin can also become thinner and drier, leading to a greater risk of cracks and infections.

Prioritising regular foot checkups and using comfortable, supportive footwear is important to ensuring feet remain at their best. But there are some natural remedies available that can aid foot health and this includes those dastardly bunions. 

According to Dr. Ahmed Chaudry of Scandinavian Biolabs, these natural remedies include:

Cold Therapy: Applying ice packs to the affected area for 15-20 minutes several times a day can help reduce inflammation and alleviate pain. Be sure to wrap the ice pack in a towel to prevent frostbite.

Warm Soak: Soaking your feet in warm water mixed with Epsom salt can provide relief from bunion pain. The warm water helps to relax the muscles, while the Epsom salt has anti-inflammatory properties that can help to reduce swelling.

Orthotics and Padding: Wearing over-the-counter shoe inserts, arch supports, or bunion pads can help redistribute pressure on the foot and provide relief from bunion pain.

Proper Footwear: Choose shoes with a wide toe box, good arch support, and low heels to minimise pressure on the bunion and prevent further progression. Avoid tight-fitting shoes and high heels.

Toe Exercises: Regular toe exercises, such as toe stretches, toe curls, and toe flexing and extending, can help maintain joint mobility and alleviate discomfort.

Anti-inflammatory diet: Consuming a diet rich in anti-inflammatory foods, such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and omega-3 fatty acids, can help reduce inflammation and alleviate bunion pain.

Incorporating natural remedies and effective lifestyle habits can complement conventional treatments and help promote foot health.

However, it is important to consult with a healthcare professional before trying any new remedies or making significant changes to your routine.

IMPORTANT LEGAL INFO This article is of a general nature and FYI only, because it doesn’t take into account your personal health requirements or existing medical conditions. That means it’s not personalised health advice and shouldn’t be relied upon as if it is. Before making a health-related decision, you should work out if the info is appropriate for your situation and get professional medical advice.

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