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Stepping into Wellness: The Crucial Role of Washing and Caring for Your Feet

Woman in the bath using the shower head to wash and clean her feet

Whilst many of us would be reluctant to admit it, do we really wash our feet? Surely they’re already clean from the soapy water in the bottom of the bath and washing them makes them super slippy in the tub. Ultimately these are excuses and not very good ones at that. Your feet have been sweating in your socks and shoes all day and may have come in contact with the bare ground. You definitely need to be washing them.

At the very least, you should wash your feet tops, bottoms, and sides daily using mild soap and water. Remember to gently pat your feet dry, preserving moisture instead of rubbing vigorously, and be sure to dry between the toes. This step is crucial for preventing the growth of bacteria and fungi.

Our feet, much like the rest of our bodies, naturally host bacteria. Some of these bacteria are beneficial. However, when the bacteria on our feet begin to thrive on sweat and other residues that unwashed feet provide, they contribute to that distinct, pungent odour we've all encountered after a long trek or a tiring day of work. Thoroughly washing your feet is essential to eliminate the accumulated dirt, sweat, grime, and bacteria that swiftly accumulate, potentially leading to foot odour.

If even after washing your feet regularly you’re still experiencing foot odour, it may be time to invest in a specialised product that contains antimicrobial agents. This will remove the root cause of the odour (the bacteria) stopping the smell before it starts rather than masking over it.

In addition to eliminating bacteria, it's crucial to consistently wash your feet to prevent an array of common foot infections. Allowing bacteria, fungi, and other tiny troublemakers to linger on your skin can lead to severe infections such as Athlete’s Foot, staph infections, plantar warts, and an array of other unpleasant conditions with equally unpleasant symptoms.

The risk escalates, particularly if you frequently go barefoot in places like locker rooms, yoga studios, public pools, or communal showers. Essentially, you might be picking up whatever the last hundred individuals left behind—a rather unsettling thought.

Feet that are wrinkled from being in the bath too long.

You shouldn’t just be washing your feet, you should also be exfoliating them. Putting in that extra effort to remove dead skin cells means you reduce the likelihood of experiencing dry, hardened, cracked and/or flakey skin. This will also reduce the chance of developing calluses which are not only annoying but can also be particularly painful. You should be exfoliating your feet either with a specialised product or by using a pumice stone. After exfoliating remember to dry your feet thoroughly and then replenish the moisture in your feet using a good quality moisturiser.

There’s no hard rule for how often you should be washing your feet. Many people will shower every day whilst ignoring their feet and still have no foot issues. Despite this, you should still be cautious. Everybody is different so those who don’t sweat as much may not have to give as much attention to their feet whilst having a wash. Others will need to in order to avoid infection and nasty smells. Most people won’t need any special products. Mild soap will suffice in most situations. It's also important to remember to not scrub too hard to where you damage your feet instead of exfoliating them. When exfoliating any body part you should always moisturise after and this is no different when it comes to your feet.

Next time you shower it might be time to show your feet some love and give them a good wash. Remember it's not just your pits that can be smelly and no one wants smelly feet. Do yourself a favour and treat your feet!


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