9 Tips For Moisturizing Your Feet

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McDermott Footcare nursing foot care clients enjoy a moisturizing foot rub as part of our services. The reasons are two-fold: a foot rub is a soothing finish to excellent quality nursing foot care and it is a good opportunity to give the feet some much-needed moisture.

Skin is an important barrier that prevents infections in the body. Skin that is dry is more prone to itchiness, rashes and infection. Extremely dry skin, especially in the heel area, can develop painful cracks called fissures. These fissures are susceptible to bleeding and becoming infected.

Dry skin is also more prone to developing painful calluses.

For these reasons, moisturizing the feet is very important. Here are 9 tips for adding much needed moisture to the skin:

1) Wash feet daily with a mild soap and warm water.

2) While feet are still damp use a pumice stone to gently scrub areas that are dry and flaky, especially the heels and callused areas.

3) Dry the feet and immediately apply moisturizer. For moderately dry skin, a regular moisturizer is effective. For extremely dry skin, including skin that has cracks (fissures), use an extra rich moisturizer that contains urea. These moisturizers are available over-the-counter in well-stocked drug stores and department stores.

4) Do not apply moisturizer between the toes. Excess moisture that builds up between the toes encourages the development of athlete’s foot fungal infection.

5) Soaking the feet once to three times a week in a solution of 1/4 cup white vinegar in a shallow basin of lukewarm water helps to improve the condition of the skin. Soak for only 10 -15 minutes since soaking for long periods dries out the skin. Apply moisturizer after towel drying.

6) For an effective night treatment try this: apply a rich emollient moisturizer to your feet and put on breathable cotton socks. The heat from the socks will help skin soak in the moisture.

7) For people who have difficulty reaching the feet, try this trick: put some moisturizer on a plate or other suitable tray. Move your feet around the plate or tray being careful to rub the moisturizing cream into the feet. Step on a towel and gently blot your feet to wipe off excess cream.

8) Alternatively, apply moisturizer to feet using a long-handled paint brush. Wipe off excess cream.

9) Ask your certified foot care nurse to recommend an effective moisturizer.

Related posts:

Vinegar Is Good For Your Feet

8 Tips For Dry, Cracked Heels

Copyright Terry McDermott. May not be reproduced in whole or in part without permission of author

8 Cold Weather and Winter Foot Care Tips For Diabetics

couple enjoying winter

Here in Toronto, diabetic nursing foot care clients of McDermott Footcare are beginning to feel the change in weather. With the cooler temperatures, many clients are wearing thicker clothing, including socks and closed-toe shoes instead of sandals. Cooler temperatures call for a change in foot care routines to ensure the continued health of people living with diabetes.

Here are 8 diabetic foot care tips for a safe, healthy autumn and winter:

  1. Socks:  Wear thick, breathable socks that wick away moisture. Feet continue to sweat in colder temperatures and it is important to wear socks that promote air circulation and wick away perspiration.
  2. Keep feet dry: This goes hand in hand with the advice above. It is important to keep feet dry. Feet that are allowed to remain damp may develop fungal and bacterial infections. Dry your feet thoroughly after bathing or after becoming wet from exposure. Pay particular attention to drying the area between the toes since this is where athlete’s foot infections most commonly develop.
  3. Proper footwear: Wear boots and shoes with a rounded toe box that allows the toes to wriggle comfortably. At the same time, foot wear should fit properly so that the foot is secure. Choose leather and suede over synthetic material since natural materials allow air circulation to the foot. Look for foot wear with adequate traction. Boots and shoes should provide sufficient warmth since diabetic neuropathy may prevent the person from realizing that their feet are becoming cold.
  4. Foot soaks:  Soaking the feet should only be done occasionally. Ten minutes is a safe amount of time to prevent over-drying or maceration of the skin. Maintain a lukewarm water temperature of 90 degrees fahrenheit (32 degrees celsius). Use a thermometer to gauge the temperature or have a non-diabetic person test the water first.
  5. Heated massagers, hot water bottles and heat pads: Because of neuropathy, diabetics have a decreased ability to feel hot temperatures on the feet. For this reason, it is advisable to avoid heated foot massagers, heat pads and hot water bottles.
  6. Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize: During the winter months, it is advisable to use an extra emollient moisturizer on the feet. Keeping the feet moisturized prevents heel cracks and fissures that are painful and are prone to infection. Avoid moisturizing between toes since added moisture encourages bacterial and fungal skin infections.  Ask your certified foot care nurse or doctor to recommend a suitable moisturizer.
  7. Check your feet:  Inspect your feet daily for swelling, heel cracks, dryness, open sores, cuts, bruises, blisters, corns, calluses.  Check for peeling and dampness between the toes since this is a symptom of athlete’s foot.  Use a hand-held mirror to check the soles of the feet.
  8. Nail care: Have a certified foot care nurse clip and file your nails regularly. Nails should be clipped straight across. Thickened, fungal nails should be filed down.

Related articles:

The Importance of Nursing Foot Care for Diabetics

Why Athlete’s Foot is Dangerous in Diabetes

Copyright Terry McDermott. May not be reproduced in whole or in part without permission of author