Monsoons can lead to smelly and wrinkled looking feet. Which is why they deserve extra care during the rainy season. The humid, wet and sticky climate translates into wet shoes, sweaty feet, cracked toes, fungal infections, itching, athlete foot and many other allergies, shared Dr Rinky Kapoor, cosmetic dermatologist, dermato-surgeon, The Esthetic Clinics.
The most common foot problems in monsoon are
*Swelling around the nail folds
But these problems can be easily taken care of by some simple foot care habits. Check them out below:
Don’t jump in the puddle
The roads are full of dirty rainwater, which is filled with muck and virus-causing bacteria. The best way is to avoid walking in the rain and especially avoiding stepping in any puddles.
Dry your feet
The golden rule of foot care is to keep them as dry as possible. If by chance your feet get wet, dry them as soon as you can. If you keep wearing wet and dirty shoes, you will end up with swollen and unclean feet that are vulnerable to cracks and infections. Keep an extra pair of shoes and socks handy, if possible.
Do not walk barefoot
As tempting as it sounds to walk barefoot on the cold floor or on wet grass in monsoon, you should refrain from giving in to the temptation. Walking barefoot increases the chances of getting warts, and also makes the feet a fertile ground for bacterial and fungal infections, which is hard to treat.
Wash your feet
Sounds strange but inculcate the habit of washing feet as soon as you get home from work or even from an outing. Add some antiseptic liquid in lukewarm water and dip your feet in it. Let it sit for 10 minutes and wash your feet. Pat dry with a towel.
Invest in a good antifungal talcum powder
Apply powder on dry feet and keep them in the air for some time before wearing shoes or socks.
Invest in a good foot cream that will keep your feet hydrated, prevent allergies, and keep the heels soft and smooth. Apply the cream on dry feet twice a day, in the morning after shower and at night before going to bed.
Trim the toenails
Overgrown nails are an invitation to dirt and grime that accumulate under them and a breeding ground for fungal infections. Keep your toenails short and filed.
Get breathable footwear
Switch your heels for simple footwear such as flip-flops, slippers, rubber boots, sandals etc. as they are easy to dry and the water washes out easily. Avoid wearing closed shoes. Gumboots are a perfect choice for a walk in the rain. They keep the feet away from dirty water, and they are easy to wash. Never wear wet shoes. Dry the shoes overnight if you have been out in the rain.
Cover the nicks and cuts with a waterproof bandage so that water does not enter the wound in any way.
Use the following simple home remedies to give your feet the extra dose of care that they deserve
*Ground up some camphor into a fine powder and add it to the talcum powder. Sprinkle some of this mix on your feet before wearing shoes or socks. This will prevent smelly feet.
*Once a week, set aside some time for foot pampering. Soak your feet in hot water with salt or mild shampoo for 15 minutes. The salt will kill the bacteria and remove bad smell. Take a pumice stone and gently scrub away dead skin cells. Wash and dry your feet and apply a good foot cream.
*You can also use a papaya mask on the feet for exfoliation. Papaya softens the skin and improves cell turnover
*To control sweating, add a few drops of lemon to hot water and soak your feet twice a week.
*Apply henna paste on the cracks on heels, crevices between the toes. Leave the pack to dry before removing it. This will help curb fungal infections.
*Mix apple cider vinegar with water and lemon and apply on the areas affected by fungal infections. Leave for half-hour and then dry the area. This mix will help control itching too.
*Massaging onion juice between toes also helps in relieving itching.
*For soft and supple feet, make a mix of three tablespoons of rose water with two tablespoons of lemon juice and one teaspoon of pure glycerine. Apply this daily after washing and drying the feet.
*Use tea tree oil around the toes to get rid of the fungal and bacterial infections. Mix tea tree oil with aloe vera gel or juice for better results.
*Make a refreshing food soak by adding one teaspoon of peppermint oil in half bucket of water along with some neem leaves and half cup of coarse salt. Soak your feet for 10-15 minutes. Pat dry and apply talcum powder on feet.
*A foot mask made up of fullers earth, neem powder, turmeric and honey is excellent for feet health. Apply this mask once a week and soon you will see the results. You can replace multani mitti with ground orange peel. Wash the mask with water and massage your feet with olive oil. This will help relieve the cracked heels too.
*Massage your feet with olive oil and wear cotton socks over them for a few hours as you relax. This will help soothe the aches and pain.