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Have you ever stopped to look at your feet? Feet are one of those areas of the body that are overworked and underappreciated. Whether you sit at a desk or walk around all day, your feet are suffering constant abuse. In the middle of winter you may not care about how your feet look but when summer rolls around you may wish you had spent just a little time preparing your feet for to be showcased in those fabulous new strappy sandals.

Examine your feet carefully:
Does the skin around your toes appear dry and flaky?
Is your heel covered with dry and course skin?
Are there calluses lining the pad of your foot?

If you answered “yes” to any of these questions you are one of the millions of people with dry skin. Dry skin is a chronic skin type that can come and go and may only affect certain areas of the body (such as the feet or hands). Dry skin is mostly just irritating but can lead to problems such as cracks or infections if left untreated. During the winter dry skin increases due to changes in the environment and increased use of interior heaters which remove necessary moisture from the air.

So what may have caused your cracked heels and dry toes?

Many things can influence your feet such as wearing properly fitted shoes, age, psoriasis, diabetes, athlete’s foot, exposure to outside elements and lifestyle. Your feet develop thicker skin due to constant use (and abuse) but this skin can still be easily damaged. Taking the time to repair this damage will not only make your feet look better but feel better too.

What to do:

A pumice stone is a wonderful investment when trying to combat extremely dry or tough skin. This will help remove build up of dead layers of skin and allow healthy new skin to develop.

Apply a foot cream designed to soften those rough spots. Apply this at night and wear socks to bed to help seal in the moisture and give your feet time to repair while you sleep. Avoid lotions as most contain alcohol which will cause more dryness and may irritate the damaged areas (especially cracked skin).

Examine your shoes and invest in a new pair if you notice any tightness or rubbing against the skin. Improperly fitting shoes can lead to much more significant problems than dry skin in the long run!

Final Thoughts

You may not think your feet need care but remember that taking care of your body is important and neglecting any area will lead to trouble down the line. Most foot care treatments require five minutes or less a day to apply and can be done at night to avoid disrupting your day. Be ready to break out the sandals this summer and have fabulous looking feet that will be the envy of all the toes at the beach!

Your feet and hands are probably the most overworked parts of your body. Just think about how many times a day you need to walk somewhere, grab something or pick something up. Doing the “dirty work” means exposing the skin in these areas to harsh chemicals, rough materials and lots of grime and bacteria. Just think about everything your feet and hands go through every day and it is no wonder they can end up looking dry, wrinkled and neglected.

Take a Hands on Approach!

Dry and cracked skin is a common problem for many hands and feet because of the constant use and exposure to external factors (such as cold weather or chemicals). Simply washing the hands and drying them without providing extra care can be damaging as well because many soaps contain ingredients that will rob the skin of essential oils needed for good hydration (and good hydration means smoother skin).

A good moisturizer is the best defense against these problems because it will replace essential nutrients and oils to the body. Depending on the level of damage to the skin present, a heavier duty moisturizer may be required or it may simply take a few days to see real results. Rough skin (such as calloused palms) will benefit from a daily moisturizer as well since they are also designed to soften the skin.

Tidbit to Remember In some professions it is necessary to wash your hands several times throughout the course of the day. This constant washing will help sanitize the hands but will dry them out just as quickly. Carry a small travel sized lotion in your purse, pocket or even at your work station to apply following each wash.

Woe to the Foot

The feet are an area of the body that suffers from dryness, rough texture and calluses. Add these up and they may not be the most pleasing area of the body to look at and can lead to severe foot conditions over time. There are several ways to fight this damage and keep your feet looking fabulous for the next time you step out in flip flops!

Exfoliation and scrubs are great for combating those dry heels and callused toes. The build up of dead skin leads to wrinkles and rough textures so it is important to remove these useless cells regularly. Most scrubs should be used bi-weekly to monthly because over exfoliation can damage the skin as well. A good scrub will have a course texture and will typically leave the skin feeling refreshed after just one treatment (although several may be required to reverse all damage).

Lotion for……your feet? It is common practice to lotion the hands, face, arms and legs but do you ever stop to rub a little moisture on your toes? A simple daily moisturizer (many body lotions will work for this) can work wonders on rough and scaly skin that appears on your feet. Take a minute in your daily routine to refresh the feet and offer them some relief. Some foot moisturizers contain special ingredients that will help soothe aching feet while hydrating as well.

                 Never forget that your entire body is covered with skin and although different areas may require different types of care, neglecting any portion of the body is a bad practice. Your skin does show much to protect your body it is time to return the favor by protecting the skin with a few easy steps. Most treatments require only minutes to complete and can do wonders in smoothing texture, improving tone and reversing the effects of age on the body. Try showing your feet and hands a little love and appreciation for a job well done today!

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