DIY Foot Self-Care Tips for Seniors
Did you know that there are more nerve-endings in your feet than anywhere else in your body? These nerve endings transmit information about temperature, pressure, balance and pain to the brain. The brain, in turn, sends messages to your muscles to make adjustments to your gait and protect you from injury.
All the more reason to take care of your feet!
With at-home foot care, seniors can take pretty good care of their feet on their own between trips to the podiatrist or pedicurist. Not only does DIY foot care minimize dry heels and soften thick toenails, it’s also soothing and relaxing.
The benefits of foot care for aging feet
When you think of the aging process, foot care might not be the first thing that comes to mind. Yet your feet need pampering just like other parts of your body. Over time, our feet become broader and flatter, and the fatty padding that protects the foot’s bones and joints begins to wear down. When this happens, mobility can be affected. Sometimes, all it takes is a nasty blister to affect the foot’s overall function in older adults, leading to balance issues and falls.
Here’s some good news: You can minimize foot problems with regular self-care.
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), “many diseases and foot problems can be prevented through healthy personal hygiene and taking care of your feet.”
In addition to maintaining your feet’s overall function, at-home foot care also offers the following benefits:
- Improved circulation
- Little or no pain and discomfort
- Great-looking feet
Another advantage of at-home foot care is that it’s cost-effective. You don’t have to spend much money treating your feet. Products like Epsom salts and foot creams are inexpensive as are many quality products you can buy for under ten dollars.
The best at-home foot care solutions
You’ll learn some great DIY foot self-care tips as you continue reading. However, before you change your current foot care routine, speak with your podiatrist. Not every at-home self-care option may be suitable for you.
For example, if you have diabetes, podiatrists advise against soaking your feet in Epsom salts. Medical News Today warns that “prolonged soaking can also open small cuts that may be present in the skin, allowing germs to enter.”
When it comes to following any of the tips below, begin by asking your doctor if they’re good for you!
- Moisturize your feet. Older adults have more problems retaining moisture, making their feet susceptible to cracking and flaking. After a bath or shower, use a foot lotion to lock in the moisture and keep the skin supple. Help the lotion do its job by wearing breathable cotton socks after the application.
- Use an electric foot massager. Treat yourself to an electric foot massager to relieve aches and pains at home. Foot massage is one of the best ways to improve circulation in your feet. It can bring much-needed relief to people with arthritis or neuropathy.
- Soak your feet. Foot-soaking is a wonderful way to relieve tension, aches, and pains. Add Epsom salt to the water to reduce inflammation and provide gentle exfoliation. Not only does soaking your feet keep your skin supple, but it also softens toenails.
- Use a foot scrub. Foot scrubs can be used in the shower or bath and are a great option for exfoliating dead skin. Follow up with a foot cream after using the foot scrub to put moisture back into your skin.
- Wear open-toed slippers. If you like to wear slippers around the house, choose open-toed styles. Slides and flip-flop slippers expose your feet and allow them to breathe. These styles help keep your feet fungus-free.
- Add coconut oil to your routine. Coconut oil is a natural moisturizer and excellent prevention against fungal infections. The fatty acids in the oil breakdown fungal membranes and are an effective toenail-fungus treatment. All you need is a thin layer, applied 2-3 times daily to see results.
When using at-home foot care products, read the labels and choose products that contain natural ingredients. Many people are sensitive to dyes and perfumes, so look for products that are dye-free or use essential oils.
Regular at-home foot care works best as an effective tool between visits to the podiatrist or pedicurist. Pick a day or time that works best for you to give your feet the attention and TLC they deserve. You’ll enjoy better foot mobility and have fewer (if any) fungal and other foot infections. Your feet will have never looked or felt better!