Our feet are a marvel of engineering, they contain a network of nerves, muscles and blood vessels which all work in unison, helping us to walk, stand, balance, and run. They contain a quarter of all the bones in human body and carry us through life. They truly are our foundation, our roots, they determine our posture and if they hurt we hurt all over. Yet what do we do to love and nurture them in return?

As summer is approaching you may be thinking you’re too embarrassed to show off your tootsies on the beach. Hard skin, corns and cracked heels are common foot problems that can look unsightly and leave us wanting to hide our feet away. However help is at hand – the following advice will enable you to understand how these problems develop and how to treat them.

Did you know the skin on the soles of your feet is much thicker than elsewhere on your body?

The cells also divide more frequently in response to pressure and friction. This allows the skin to thicken and create a protective barrier, but too much pressure or friction can trigger excessive thickening, resulting in the build up of problematic hard skin or callus.

There are no hairs on the soles of your feet; this means there are no sebaceous glands (oil secreting glands) as these are found in hair follicles. So it’s important to moisturise them with products that have been specifically formulated for the skin on the feet in order to keep them soft and supple .

Why do you get dry skin on your feet?

Your skin gets moisture from the deeper layers of the skin. The water content is also affected by the presence of epidermal lipids and natural moisturising factors. If the levels of these two important substances are decreased, the cells start to shrink and gaps can appear between the cells resulting in dry, rough skin. You can read more about dry skin hereDr Anders Nourishing Daily Therapy is immediately absorbed to nourish and restore dry problem skin. It contains a unique blend of rejuvenating coconut, olus and tamanu oils; selected to effectively hydrate and promote healthy, soft and supple skin. Coconut oil is an amazing skin hydrator, it sinks in deeply, conditions, moisturises and softens skin. It is comprised of about 50% lauric acid which is highly effective in protecting against harmful pathogens (bacteria, viruses and fungi). Read more about Nourishing Daily Therapy here.

Thick, hard callused skin can form on areas of your feet where there has been repeated high pressure over a period of time, or shearing stress and friction, such as shoes rubbing. Read more about the development of callus here. This build up of hard skin is a protective mechanism; it is your body’s way of creating an added layer of protection to protect the tissues underneath. there are useful tips about how to treat hard callused skin here Dr Anders Intensive Rescue Balm contains urea to nourish and break down hardened, callused skin and eliminate cracks and fissures. It is formulated with urea – a humectant, which means it attracts water from the deeper layers of the skin, it is one of the natural moisturising factors (NMFs) found in the top layer of the epidermis. NMFs are produced during the keratinisation process (when the cells become flatter and die, their content is converted into a protein called keratin). NMFs have the ability to attract water and lock it in as it penetrates and increases the moisture-binding capacity of the cells causing them to swell and reducing the cracks between the cells. Urea and lactic acid also help soften the cells in the surface layers and loosen them, enabling them to be shed more easily; leaving you with silky smooth skin. Read more about Intensive Rescue Balm here.

Embarrassed by your toenails?

You might think your toenails are there to provide protection, however this is not strictly the case because if your nail was removed the skin underneath would harden. Our toenails are thought to have helped our primate ancestors grasp small objects. Nowadays though, as our feet are enclosed in footwear for long periods of time our toenails can be prone to infection, they can be difficult to trim as we get older and they can be very painful if they become ingrown. Nails often reflect our general health (read more here) and many nail disorders – brittle nails, ridges and lines can be an indication of vitamin or mineral deficiencies, circulation problems or other illnesses.

Did you know? It can take up to 12 months for your big toenails to grow!  Toenails grow much more slowly than our fingernails and they tend to be thicker as a result of trauma or pressure from footwear. They also tend to be more neglected than fingernails, as they are often covered up and are harder to reach. This may also leave them more vulnerable to bacterial or fungal infection. If you are concerned about the appearance of your toenails then Dr Anders Conditioning Nail Treatment can gently and safely soften hard, thick or brittle nails. Read more about Conditioning Nail Treatment here.

So don’t forget, good foot health shouldn’t take long, don’t be embarrassed about your feet and hide them away this summer, feel them, nurture them, value them, give them some tender loving care, they carry you every day!

If you have any questions about your feet and foot problems you may be experiencing please use our forum!

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