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ccording to a report by the UK College of Podiatry, 1 in 5 women are embarrassed about their feet [Maidenhead Podiatry]. I must confess that I was included in that 20% until very recently.

Having inherited the ‘beauty’ of my father’s feet, hairy toe knuckles and all, I have always lent towards the covered foot camp. Wearing Dr Martin boots and baseball boots all year round, even on the beach! This did not bother me, as I am not a big fan of sand, but it did award me some very odd looks from passersby at times.

Now that I have 4 gorgeous little girls, shoes on the beach are not really an option. This has worked out very much in my favor. Although I still have no great love of sand, I have learnt the benefits of a sand and salt water exfoliation. All this free of charge, with the minor effort of skipping in and out of the shoreline, jumping little waves, while holding hands with my 2 youngest girls. Not such a bad spa day, I think.

The UK College of Podiatry report that the most common foot problems suffered by women are blisters (55%), cracked heels (45%), verrucas (28%), corns (24%) and ingrown toenails (20%). More than twice as many women as men report suffering from corns, cracked heels and bunions [The College Of Podiatry].

A good start in caring more for you feet, may include avoiding footwear made of materials that don’t breath, such as plastic. Instead, consider natural alternatives such as canvas or hemp. Try to limit your time in shoes with high heels, and those that are too flat can cause problems too. Refrain from wear shoes that cause any pain or discomfort.

Try to keep your feet clean and dry (when not playing in water!), and treat any problems as they arise; whether this is treatable at home or if you need to seek help from a professional, such as a podiatrist. If you are lucky enough not to have any foot problems then how about going by the quote of Dutch philosopher Desiderius Erasmus, “Prevention is better than cure”.

Considering the average person walks approximately 110,000 miles in a lifetime of 80 years, it is more than likely your feet will suffer from one ailment or another at some point. By following the guidelines above and adding a few “feet treats” into the mix, your feet should hopefully carry you through life with little to no complaints.

Some options for a little foot pampering may include a foot exfoliation, either by a barefoot walk along a sandy shoreline or by using a sugar scrub made by mixing together 2 tablespoons of brown sugar, 1 tablespoon of honey, 1 tablespoon of olive oil or coconut oil and 1 teaspoon of lemon juice. Just soak your feet in warm water for 10 to 15 minutes, massage the scrub all over your feet, then rinse off.

Using a natural pumice stone is also a great way to get rid of any dry, dead skin. Just don’t be too vigorous with it! Another option is to apply a foot mask made from a mashed banana or avocado. Here’s a link to some great avocado foot mask ideas [VIBHA Life]. A bonus is that if you rub the avocado onto your feet with you bare hands you will get a nice hand mask treatment at the same time!

You can make your own foot moisturiser with a couple of simple ingredients. Raw coconut oil makes a wonderful base, then simply add a few drops essential oil of choice. Lavender oil is great to relax and calm you and also has antifungal properties.

Do be careful once this moisturiser is on your feet as it may make them slippery and some oils can leave a slight stain on fabrics and carpets. Ideally, you should apply this moisturiser generously at night, before bedtime, and pop some organic cotton socks on to sleep in.

So, love your feet. Find the time for a little pedi pampering, and hopefully your feet will take you on all your travels with a skip in each step.

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