Grooming Editor

Mankind’s Guide to Improve Your Feet

Mankind’s Guide to Improve Your Feet

Don’t wait ’til the sandal season to get your feet in order. Sort them out now with this simple problem solver in our guide to improve your feet.

The Problem: Corns and Callouses

Corns and callouses are caused by a build up of dry, hard skin on the toes (forming corns) and elsewhere on the foot (forming calluses) and can look pretty scary if left untreated.

The Solution:

Since corns and calluses are usually caused by excess pressure on the skin, ill-fitting shoes are the main culprit so make sure yours fit perfectly. To remove corns and callouses, soften the skin by soaking them in warm water (a few soluble aspirins thrown into the water helps) and rub the hard skin gently with a special foot file, available from your chemist. Never hack away at them with razor blades – if they’re large and tough see a professional podiatrist.

The Problem: Ingrown Nails

Caused when the edge of the nail cuts into the flesh and becomes infected, ingrown nails affect the big toes most and can become incredibly painful if left untreated.

The Solution:

Always cut your nails straight across the top rather than rounding them off or cutting down the sides and make sure your shoes and trainers have plenty of room at the toes. If a nail is already ingrown and is painful visit a podiatrist for professional treatment.

The Problem: Hairy Toes

Ironically, hairy toes are actually a good sign because they show that the circulation to your feet is healthy but if they’re so hairy they’re terrifying young children you need to do something about them.

The Solution:

Get rid of unwanted toe hair in a matter of minutes with the help of Bliss Wax Kit which are ideal for tootsies as well as for backs and shoulders.

The problem: Cracked Heels

The main cause of painful cracking around the heel area is dry skin. In most people this is just a nuisance but if left the fissures can become deep and painful and open to infection.

The Solution:

Get yourself a foot moisturiser and use regularly especially in the summer when feet tend to be driest. And don’t be tempted to use an ordinary face or body moisturiser – they won’t do the job because the skin on our feet is four times thicker than the stuff on the rest of our body. For best results try a product like Institut Karite Paris Shea Foot Cream which is exceptionally nourishing for skin.

  

The Problem: Manky Toenails

The most common causes of discoloured toenails are fungal infections, sweat and thickening caused by damage. If you have a fungal nail infection the toenail becomes thickened and discoloured and gradually starts to split and separate from the nail bed though similar symptoms can be caused by nail damage too. If you nails are just a bit on the yellow side that’s probably the result of sweat.

The Solution:

The longer your toenails the more prone they are injury (and hence thickening and yellowing) so trim them back regularly. Reduce nail staining by sweat by steering clear of synthetic shoes and socks. Fungal infections are notoriously stubborn to tackle so talk to your pharmacist or GP about topical treatments.

The Problem: Athlete’s Foot

This common fungal infection leads to cracked, sore and itchy skin and affects as many as one in seven of us at some time in our lives.

The Solution:

Athlete’s foot is usually picked up from walking barefoot across communal changing rooms, saunas or around swimming pools, where the fungus lurks on skin flakes from other people’s feet, so the easiest way to protect yourself is to wear flip-flops. Since the fungus likes damp conditions in which to multiply it’s also a good idea to feet thoroughly after washing, especially between the toes. If you do get infected, anti fungal foot creams or powders usually work but bear in mind that the fungal spores can live for up to two years so make sure you treat your shoes too!

The Problem: Pale and Pasty Skin

The Solution:

Nothing terrifies women like a pair of pale and unkempt male feet so before flashing your pasty plates give them a little colour with the help of a fake tanning product. Or if you’re just after a temporary fix try a little tinted moisturiser. Lab Series BB Tinted Moisturiser should do the trick.

The Problem: Stinky Feet

With 250,000 sweat glands, producing nearly a cupful of moisture ever day, it’s little wonder feet get a bit whiffy now and then. But there’s a big difference between whiffy and positively honking.

The Solution:

Most of the problems associated with sweaty feet can easily be solved by taking a few basic precautions. Here’s how to keep your feet sweet:

  • Wash and Go – Bathing your feet in warm water with tea tree oil added will help reduce the amount of odour-causing bacteria, while hot and cold foot baths will help the circulation and keep your feet feeling fresh.
  • Go for Leather – Leather shoes are much better than ones made from synthetic materials since they allow some of the perspiration to escape. Where possible (ie when at home) go barefoot to reduce sweating.
  • Sock it to ’em – Steer clear of nylon socks which encourage sweating. Go for cotton ones instead as these wick moisture away from the foot, keeping them cool.
  • Chill Out – The sweat glands on the soles of our feet produce the most moisture when we?re under emotional pressure so reduce your stress levels and you’ll reduce the smell too.

Don’t forget to check out our lesson 9, all about good feet!

 

Grooming Editor

Lesson 9: The Good Foot Guide

Most men neglect their feet during the winter and that plays havoc with their appearance come the strip-off season.

2016-01-25 16:00:18By Shannon



Shannon

Shannon

Features Editor

Throughout my life I've been passionate about film, music and culture from around the globe. I’m here to bring you the latest lifestyle features, from film releases and music, to cocktails and recipe inspiration, keeping you in the loop of all the latest trends worth talking about.