In the middle of winter our feet are often neglected as they’re not on display. But it’s important to look after our feet all year round.
Wash and moisturise your feet regularly, especially as you get older, as the skin on your feet gets very dry, and even more so with age.
When the skin gets dry, it becomes itchy and cracked, which could lead to cuts on the skin. These cuts could easily become infected and painful, and could even lead to cellulitis.
Make sure you thoroughly dry your feet whenever you wash them, and never put socks on when your feet are damp. You can always use a hairdryer on a cool setting to dry your feet if you can’t reach.
It’s also very important to check your toenails regularly to make sure you don’t pick up a fungal infection, as minor infections are easily treated but as they progress they become much more stubborn.
What should you look out for? Early signs of infection include slight discolouration which will usually be on the top edge of the nail, towards one side, and will appear yellow or brownish. Sometimes the nail will appear to be slightly lifted in the area where the discolouration is.
One way to stop fungus developing on your feet or toe nails is to carry with you an anti-fungal spray, and use it whenever your feet are in contact with surfaces/fabrics that other people’s feet have also touched, or when you don’t have time to wash them. You can make your own spray using pre-boiled water (cooled) and 6-12 drops of tea tree oil. Again, make sure your feet are dry after you spray them before you put your socks/shoes on.
Another tip is to make sure you wash towels and bedding on high temperatures at least once a month, and periodically spray bedding with tea tree oil.