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When we consider that one foot is capable of producing over half a cup of sweat per day, it’s no wonder that feet can get pretty stinky. When that sweat is released from the pores, it is broken down by bacteria on the skin, producing an odour as it’s decomposed.
Bacteria thrive in dark, damp environments, making the feet - the most concentrated area of sweat glands in the human body – a kind of bacteria paradise.
Following these 8 simple steps to keep bacteria at bay and reduce moisture will help keep your feet fresh and odour free.
1. Wash your feet daily with antibacterial soap. The feet tend to be overlooked in the shower, but they need as much attention as the rest of your body.
2. Dry feet really well, paying particular attention to the space in between your toes.Wiping the skin with rubbing alcohol will also help to dry out the skin.
3. Always wear socks when wearing closed toed shoes. Small no-show socks are great for ballet flats or dress shoes. Wear socks made from breathable fabrics to wick moisture away from the skin and always put on a fresh pair every day.
4. Use an antiperspirant on the soles of the feet and in between the toes. Spreading it on at night allows enough time for the product to soak into the skin.
5. Don’t wear the same pair of shoes two days in a row. Alternate shoes to allow at least 24hrs for shoes to completely dry out.
6. Sprinkle baking soda into your shoes before you wear them to absorb moisture and reduce bacteria by neutralizing the PH balance in sweat.
7. Disinfect your shoes with an antifungaal/antibacterial spray.
8. Wear proper footwear in snow and rain to avoid having wet shoes. If shoes do get wet, dry them as soon as possible with a hair dryer or leave them in the sun to dry.
If your feet are sweating excessively or you aren’t getting any relief from your symptoms, make an appointment with your Chiropodist. There may be an underlying issue (such as athlete’s foot) that may require a prescription.
8 Interesting facts you may not know about your toenails
- Men’s toenails grow faster than women’s. An exception to this is during pregnancy when women’s toenails grow at a faster rate.
- Nails grow faster in summer and warm climates.
- Toenails are made up of keratin – the same protein as hair.
- Fingernails grow 4 times faster than toenails. On average, fingernails grow 3.5 mm per month, while toenails grow about 1.6 mm per month.
- When the sole of a baby's foot is firmly stroked, the big toe bends back toward the top of the foot and the other toes fan out. This is a normal reflex up to about 2 years of age.
- It is a common myth that white spots on the nail are caused by a calcium deficiency but they are generally just minor nail damage and are nothing to be concerned about.
- It takes 5-6 months to re-grow a toenail, even longer for a big toe which can take up to 12 months.
- Primates, including humans, are the only animals with nails rather than harder claws.
- Why do we have toenails? Toenails are mostly considered to be vestigial which means that they once had a function which has been eliminated – like wisdom teeth or your appendix. They do however provide some protection to the tops of your toes from rubbing on your shoes.
NeuRemedy - A natural health product for peripheral neuropathy and thiamine deficiency
The active ingredient in NeuRemedy, benfotiamine, has been used since the early 1960’s in Asia and Europe to successfully treat tens of thousands of people suffering from peripheral neuropathy.
What is peripheral neuropathy?
Peripheral neuropathy is a medical condition in which the nerves that travel from the brain and spinal cord to other parts of the body function improperly. People who suffer from peripheral neuropathy commonly experience burning, tingling, numbness and/or shooting pains to their feet, legs or hands. Their symptoms are usually worse at night. There are over 100 known causes of peripheral neuropathy. A partial list of these causes includes diabetes, thiamine deficiency, alcoholism, trauma, exposure to toxins, autoimmune diseases, and infections. Sometimes no cause can be determined.
Can peripheral neuropathy be successfully treated?
Yes, some forms of peripheral neuropathy may be successfully treated. For example, people suffering from a peripheral neuropathy caused by thiamine deficiency may experience significant relief by increasing their thiamine intake.
What is NeuRemedy™and how does it work?
Adequate blood levels of the micro-nutrient thiamine are essential for the proper functioning of the nervous system. Recent studies have shown that many people suffering from peripheral neuropathy have low plasma levels of this essential micronutrient. They need a more bioactive form of thiamine for their nerves to function properly. This population includes, but is not limited to, people with diabetes. For these people, the specialized formulation in Neuremedy may alleviate their symptoms by delivering a highly bioactive form of the micro-nutrient thiamine to where it is needed, the nerve cells. Neuremedy works by nourishing the nerves.
How long after I begin taking NeuRemedy should I experience relief?
Some people experience dramatic relief within a few days of taking NeuRemedy. Some need to take NeuRemedy for as long as two months in order to start to experience relief. Patients who stop taking NeuRemedy often have a return of their original symptoms. Unfortunately, NeuRemedy does not reduce the symptoms of peripheral neuropathy for everyone. Ask your doctor if NeuRemedy is right for you.
With sandal season just around the corner, it’s time to get those feet in tip top shape. If for you, summer is synonymous with pedicures, here are a few do’s and don’ts to keep in mind before your next trip to the nail salon.
Whirlpool foot baths can harbor an assortment of dangerous fungus and bacteria. Finding a salon that uses individual, disposable bath liners ensures you are safe from cross-contamination with previous clients. If you do end up at a salon with whirlpool foot baths, staff should be thoroughly disinfecting them between each customer – instructions usually require a minimum 10 minutes of disinfecting.
Before you get in the chair, check to see that staff are soaking tools in a blue liquid disinfectant and ask what type of sterilization process they use. Disinfectant alone is not enough to kill all bacteria. At Simcoe Foot Clinic, we use Autoclaves which act similar to a pressure cooker and kill 100 percent of infective organisms using high pressure and steam.
Any non-metal tools like buffers or emery boards cannot be completely sterilized and should be thrown out after each client.
If you’re unsure about any part of the sterilization process – ask questions. Staff should be open and knowledgeable about their disinfection and sterilization procedures.
If you want to be on the safe side, bring your own tools (available from most beauty supply stores) and disinfect them at home, using a disinfectant solution or rubbing alcohol, to avoid cross contamination.
When trimming your nails, ask the technician to cut straight across with the contour of the nail. Cutting into the corners will encourage the nail to grow into the skin causing ingrown nails. If you already have an ingrown nail or are predisposed to getting them, avoid pedicures all together and see a chiropodist.
If you have any cuts or open sores on your feet/legs where microorganisms can enter the skin, you should steer clear of pedicures until they’re healed. Also avoid shaving at least two days prior to a pedicure as it leaves your skin susceptible to infection.
For diabetics, the feet are particularly vulnerable. A small cut can lead to a very serious infection. If you do decide to get a pedicure, never allow the technician to use any sharp instruments and skip any services that can injure the skin. Better yet, skip the salon and have a Chiropodist (foot specialist) – do a medical pedicure. If you want to add a splash of colour, you can apply polish yourself at home or have the salon do just that.
Keep in mind that nail polish doesn’t allow the nail to breath so make sure to take it off every few weeks and leave nails clear of any polish for at least a week before reapplying.
Not all salons are unsafe. There are many that follow clean and safe practices. It is important to note however, that Chiropodists and Podiatrists are the only regulated foot specialists in Ontario. Because they provide medical treatments, they are covered under most benefit plans and are tax deductible. Chiropodists are highly trained and can detect early warning signs for a range of diseases like diabetes or melanoma. They also have strict infection control standards so you can rest assured that your feet are in good hands.