When you go to someone’s house and they ask you to leave your shoes outside, that is quite a normal request, right? They might have new carpets or they worry you might have trodden in something, but it’s their house so you comply.
That is ok unless you have smelly feet like I used to have when I was younger. I would go to school or go walking and when I got home and removed my shoes the smell would waft out into the room. I would wonder if it was my socks, so I bought socks that advertised as odorless. Was it my trainers, so I bought insoles that claimed to eat odours. None of this worked, the smell still wafted out when I took off my shoes at the end of the day. I even used to spray the insides of my shoes with deodorant hoping this would help, but to no avail.
Trying on new shoes in a shoe shop was always a worry. Dating was nightmare, instead of thinking about the movie we were watching I would be thinking what is a cure for smelly feet ?
A step in the right direction
My feet, like everyone else’s, is the furthest part of your body from your head. From your eyes, your nose and most probably from your thoughts, out of sight out of mind. They are no less important than any other part of your body, but they are probably the least cared for. Some people even hate the sight of their feet and in some cultures it is rude to show the soles of your feet in some circumstances.
You would miss them if they were not there as they help when walking or running, and when standing the heel, ball and toes are constantly adjusting to keep you balanced upright. Just watch a toddler when they first stand and see the movements in their feet as they learn to balance and then walk. I had to learn to walk three times in my life. When I was a toddler for the first time, then after I broke my leg, when I was laid up due being knocked down by a car, and the third time when I badly gashed my knee on glass and was unable to walk for three months. These were all in my school years, but even now I appreciate the fact that I can still stand and walk.
Showing your feet some love and care goes a long way to prevent some of the things that can make your feet uncomfortable. I know from the many walks I go on that blisters, corns, cracked heels and athletes foot can all make walking extremely uncomfortable.
As you get older your feet seem to get further and further out of reach. Whether your legs grow longer or your arms grow shorter I am not sure, but reaching them is more of an effort. The best way to avoid that is to take care of them now, when they are still in reach and avoid too many problems later. That has got to be a step in the right direction.
The sore, dry and smelly problems with feet
There are many problems that can make your feet feel uncomfortable to walk on and not that particularly attractive to look at. These can come from fungal infections from going barefoot in public areas like swimming baths or gyms. Poor fitting shoes that rub or squeeze the feet, or if you like walking like I do, over use causing irritation inside your shoes. The weather, yes I no we always blame the weather, but excessive heat can cause your feet to get very hot inside shoes or trainers and get sweaty or even get very dry.
Here I want to run, (excuse the pun, or not), through some of the problems that can make feet uncomfortable, most of these are from personal experience over the years.
- Athlete’s foot is a fungal infection that loves damp warm environments and is not limited to athletes, despite the name. It can usually be picked up in places where people go bare foot like swimming baths, gym changing rooms but it can also come from wearing sweaty damp shoes or socks. Usually you will get an itchy rash or flaky skin which is very tempting to scratch, but doing that can help it spread to other parts of the body. When I had athlete’s foot, I was doing a milk delivery job which involved a lot of walking, so my feet became hot and sweaty and I was walking in those socks and shoes all day long from early morning until late evening. My symptoms were the skin splitting between my toes from becoming sweaty then drying, and all that pressure from constant walking.
- Blisters are fluid sacks just under the upper layers of skin that form to prevent damage to the more sensitive tissue deeper in your skin. They come from constant rubbing when walking or running when using ill-fitting or just the wrong type of shoe for the activity that you are doing. It pays to invest in a decent pair of shoes or boots to avoid these painful blisters that can spoil a day out. Speaking once again from experience I walked around the island that I was living on, a mere 70 miles of coastal path, and half-way I had to stop for the night due to a big blister on my heel. The shoes I was wearing were my work shoes, not for comfort while walking,, but to protect my feet in a work environment. I went to a pharmacy and bandaged up my foot the next day and uncomfortably completed the walk around. With the right shoes and without the blister it would have been more fun.
- Corns are formed on the toes when wearing shoes that are too small. This causes pressure on the skin which hardens as it is compressed. After a while it gets thicker until it becomes large and painful and requires attention. As a child your feet grow quite quickly, so the need to replace your shoes often before they wear out becomes more necessary. As a child it was not always possible for me to have new shoes as my feet grew bigger. I would go to school with my feet squeezed into the shoes until the end of term time when we would go shopping for new bigger shoes. Then of course we needed to buy corn pads as I frequently had painful corns on my little toes. Thankfully now I can keep my shoes until they wear out as my feet no longer grow.
- Cracked Heels are caused by the skin drying and shrinking slightly. When you then put the full weight of your body onto it as you walk, the heel expands as you press down and the skin cracks exposing the soft lower layers of skin which of course makes walking more painful. I have dry skin around my heel depending on how much walking I do but not to the extent that it cracks thankfully.
Coconut oil is not a rub-it-on quick fix for your sore hard or cracked feet. It is like most things in nature, a gradual return to full health. Used regularly, it helps the skin to heal itself.
Athlete’s foot is a fungal germ that causes irritation to the skin. Coconut oil is anti fungal so it neutralizes the fungal germ so your feet can return to full health. Healthy skin, even on your feet, can feel and smell great.
When a blister develops they can be quite painful and sore. If left alone it will eventually heal but this can take some time and mean not walking or standing on your foot for a few days. This is not ideal for most of our busy lives so the best way would be to clean around the blister and lance it with a needle to drain the fluid. Coconut oil is an antibacterial, so applied to the now deflated blister area and wrap with a bandage. Care should be taken when walking or standing as the area needs to heal, coconut oil will protect and promote healthy skin tissue to regrow. Then get yourself a decent pair a good fitting shoes so it doesn’t happen again.
Hard dry skin especially on the heel of your foot can not only be painful to walk on, but can also look unsightly if you were to go barefoot or remove your shoes and socks to relax. Coconut oil can help soften the skin as it helps keep in the moisture that skin needs in order to look and feel healthy.
Toe nails can also benefit from a regular smoothing of coconut oil. It can help keep the fungal germs at bay that can cause decay in or on the toe nail. A yellowing of the toe nail or even painful cracking can be cleared by applying coconut oil regularly. The decay or deterioration of the toe nail is what can make your feet smell, so clear up the problem and be proud of your feet.
Foot care with coconut oil
At the end of a hard day at work the first thing we all want to do when we get home is kick off our shoes allowing fresh air to get to our feet. The bliss of cool fresh air flowing over the poor feet that have carried us around all day. Possibly they have been pushing pedals or just helping you keep balance in front of your computer. Whatever line of work you do your feet have been there supporting you all the way. Now you are home and resting it is a great time to say thank you to your feet by massaging your feet with coconut oil.
With your feet bare, you can bend down to your feet or bring them up to you, whichever is more comfortable. Scoop out some pure natural coconut oil and place in your hands then put your hands together. The warmth of your hands will turn the coconut to oil. Taking one foot at a time smooth over the top of the foot down to the toes then grip gently under the arch and back to the heel. Give the heel some strong pressure as you massage then work forwards along the bottom of the foot to your toes. Rub some oil between your toes and gently with thumb and fore finger smooth down each toe over the boney part down to the soft pad and around to the nail. Then put your feet up and relax letting the coconut oil absorb into the skin deep cleaning, softening and feeding with nutrients. It is as easy as that and done each day or maybe two or three times a week will help keep your feet free from infection and healthy.
Foot care – with love
In Thailand, where my wife comes from, foot massage is taught from generation to generation. If you have a headache or stomach ache, if you are feeling a bit sick, massaging the feet is the best way to help with problem. Coconut oil or tiger balm is used applied to the feet by way of massage. Pressing different areas of the feet connects to chakras in the body. The coconut oil helps the hands glide over the feet applying the pressure when needed. As you can see, feet are not only for walking, running or standing, they are connected to all parts of the body to help keep you healthy. Keeping your feet healthy with regular coconut oil massages will in turn keep you healthy and your feet will not smell of rotten cheese. Love your feet and they will in turn show their love in return.