8 Ways to Make Your "Ugly Feet" More Appealing
We take care of ourselves in many ways, but oftentimes neglect our feet, which are the foundation of the body and allow us to do incredible things like walk, run, jump, dance, exercise and more. Having healthy feet is vital to our overall health and damaging our feet by wearing the wrong shoes or not caring for nails not only increases the risk of health issues like poor circulation, arthritis and more, but causes feet to be less attractive. Eat This, Not That! Health spoke with doctors who share their tips on caring for feet and making them more appealing, Read on—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had COVID.
Get Rid of Skin and Nail Fungus
Dr. Shannon Thompson, DPM, one of Boston's leading podiatrists and the owner of Ace Feet says, "Fungal nails become thick, turn a yellow-brown color, and harbor debris. If you let a fungal nail infection go for too long, the nails become so thick and irregularly shaped that you won't be able to hide them with nail polish. Fungal infection of the skin, aka athlete's foot, causes persistent peeling and flaking of the skin. Clearing this infection not only feels better, but makes the skin look healthy."
Exfoliate Your Heels
"Heels typically are the first areas of the feet to become dry," Dr. Thompson emphasizes. "They become hardened and even cracked openwhite, gray or scaly in appearance. By exfoliating the dead outer layers of the skin the heels will look fresh and young again. You can exfoliate the heels with an over the counter peel, or you can try soaking them and using a pumice stone. If your at-home products aren't sufficient, your podiatrist can go further within office procedures and medicated creams or lotions."
Dr. R Randal Aaranson, a board-certified podiatrist/foot and ankle surgeon adds, "Don't allow your heels to become overly dry and cracked. This can lead to deep infections and may cause odor."
Remove Your Calluses
Dr. Thompson says, "Calluses are the discrete lumps and bumps that tend to accumulate on the sides of your great toes, and on the tops of your little toes. Removing these visually reshapes the outline of your foot and reveals the healthy skin beneath. Smaller calluses can be removed with a foot file but if they're large or tender, it's best to have your podiatrist shave them with the proper tools."
Dr. Aaranson states, "Properly trim your corns and calluses. Diabetics should NEVER trim their own corns and calluses. Routine use of pumice stones can help keep these lesions at bay, if used safely."
Moisturize Your Feet Nightly
Dr. Thompson states, "Moisturizing the feet keeps the skin supple and prevents the dull appearance of dry skin. Keeping the skin on our feet hydrated can be just as important as the skin on our faces (if not more so) as it will prevent cracking and subsequent pain and infection."
Dr. Aaranson says, "Keep your skin hydrated with moisturizer every day. Dry skin is unsightly and can bring about a bacterial skin infection called cellulitis."
Treat Swelling of the Feet and Ankles
According to Dr. Thompson, "When there is edema, or swelling of the feet and ankles, sandal straps, seams in the shoes, and even socks will make marks on the skin. By reducing the edema you will not only look better but feel much better. Since there are many causes of edema, it's best to check in with your doctor. However, taking short walking breaks during the day to improve leg circulation can help."
Keep Your Toenails Properly Trimmed and Shaped
"By maintaining your nails properly, which includes removing the dead hardened skin that can tend to build up on the nail folds, your toes will not only look and feel healthy, but they are also less likely to develop ingrowns or toe infection. One way to do this while giving your whole foot some TLC is by getting a medical pedicure," says Dr. Thompson.
Dr. Aaranson reminds us to, "Neatly clip your toenails. Thick, elongated toenails are unsightly and can harbor bacteria and fungus, which can lead to skin infections and athlete's foot."
Have Your Spider Veins Treated
Dr. Thompson explains, "Spider veins are the red or hyperpigmented lines in a roughly star shaped pattern that can arise on the side or or middle of the foot. Spider veins can be aging and having them lasered or injected will make them disappear."
Check Feet Often for Skin Cancer
Dr. Aaranson says, "Let a podiatrist evaluate any skin irregularities. Skin cancer is prevalent on the feet. Any suspicious growth should be evaluated."