Vinegar is Good for Your Feet!
A mainstay at McDermott Footcare, white distilled vinegar is reliable and inexpensive. If you google the many uses of vinegar, you’ll see claims for everything from cleaning windows to controlling blood glucose. I don’t know about its use in controlling blood glucose, weight loss or other medical conditions, but from my experience, I know that vinegar is helpful in treating certain foot care concerns.
Some people like to use apple cider vinegar, organic vinegar or flavour-infused vinegar. If you want to use fancier vinegar, go for it. But for me, a big jug of simple, plain, white vinegar is just fine.
For mild, uncomplicated Athlete’s Foot a.k.a. Tinea Pedis, a daily vinegar and water soak works well. For more detailed information on Athlete’s Foot, read my blog on this topic. Uncomplicated Athlete’s Foot looks like this picture. There is slight peeling and scaling between the toes, especially the 4th and 5th toes. It may spread to the back of the toes. It may be itchy or have a burning sensation.
Mix up a solution of 1/4 cup white vinegar in a basin of warm water, enough to cover the affected foot. Soak daily for 15 minutes until the peeling, scaling, itching and burning sensation are gone.
If your Athlete’s Foot is more complicated – if the itching, scaling and redness have spread all over the bottom and maybe the sides of your foot - it’s a good idea to see your doctor for a prescription anti-fungal cream or lotion and use it along with the vinegar and water foot soak.
Dry, cracked heels:
The same 1/4 cup white vinegar-water soak as above is also great for treating those rough, dry, cracking heels so many of us have. Here’s my blog on dry, cracked heels. The acid in vinegar, acetic acid, is very gentle and softens rough heels really well. Gently scrub the feet while soaking for 10 – 15 minutes, 3 times a week. You can scrub existing calluses at the same time. Soaking too often or for too long will dry out your skin.
Admit it. This happens to you. It happens to me. Especially in the summer when my feet sweat during hiking. Or after a long day at work. Even in my breathable socks and shoes. Smelly feet, or bromhidrosis, is caused by a mixture of sweat and bacteria.
Our all-purpose vinegar and water foot soak works here as well. Vinegar has disinfecting properties that help to get rid of the bacteria. Of course, proper foot hygiene is important too. Wash your feet with warm, soapy water first, then soak.
Take a closer look at that humble bottle of white vinegar lurking in the back of your kitchen cupboard before going out and spending your hard-earned money on fancy foot products. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how vinegar can help your feet.