Many people have a “medicine cabinet” mentality when it comes to foot health, perhaps because your feet are the furthest body parts away from the primary sensory organs (eyes, nose, and mouth).
If any cosmetic issue arises, most of us quickly go to the pharmacy or doctor for an ointment, cream, or pill that will make the problem magically go away. Drug companies reinforce this mentality with a constant barrage of high-priced media ads.
But, at least arguably, that’s not the way it should be. In many cases, our lives are koyaanisqatsi (a life out of balance).
Our bodies are designed to heal themselves, given enough physical and emotional rest. By jump-starting the parasympathetic nervous system, and giving nature a gentle push every once in awhile, many of us can find healing without resorting to risky medications.
Natural ways to keep feet healthy can be simple and effective.
Calluses and Hard Skin
Friction and pressure, perhaps from shoes that are either too big or too small, are the primary causes of hard skin and calluses. Hard skin often causes discomfort, and it is just plain ugly as well. Fortunately, with a little help, calluses are about as easy to treat as they are to develop.
Do not try this remedy if you have diabetes, because infection can set in.
You’ll need oil-based (as opposed to water-based) moisturizing cream and petroleum jelly; most people already have these items in their homes. You’ll also need a pumice stone, a common item that’s available from most retailers for a couple of dollars.
Follow this routine a few minutes before bedtime.
- Soak feet in warm, non-soapy water. Soap is a drying agent that may
make calluses worse.
- Rub the hard skin with the pumice stone in a buffing motion. Do not buff soft skin, because it will hurt like the dickens.
- Rinse the stone, because you’ll probably be doing this treatment more than once.
- Wait two or three minutes, then gently rub moisturizer onto the hard skin, which by this time will hopefully feel a little softer. Oil-based creams usually hold in more moisture than water-based creams.
- Next, rub a little petroleum jelly on the hard skin, and wear socks to bed.
- During the daytime, be sure you wear correctly-fitting shoes or address whatever issue caused the callus in the first place, because without prevention, it will probably come back no matter what treatment you use.
- Do you see how this works? Calluses are basically just extremely dry skin, so a lot of moisture gradually applied over time should make them go away.
In some ways, onychomycosis is the opposite of of hard skin, because excess moisture causes nail fungus. However, while dry skin is relatively easy to fix, fungal infections are difficult to root out once they set in. Fortunately, there are more aggressive treatments that do not come from a pill bottle.
Coconut oil is a natural fungicide, because its fatty acids embed themselves directly into the fungal lipid layer, effectively disintegrating the infection. Simply apply a thin layer of coconut oil to the affected area two or three times a day.
Be sure and wash your hands thoroughly before and after each treatment.
Since fungal infections are so stubborn, be very patient and don’t forget about preventative therapy, like wearing open-toe shoes as much as possible.
A bunion is basically an oversize bone joint that forms a lump on the foot’s instep near the big toe and pushes this digit against the other four. Sometimes the cause is shoes that are too tight or narrow, sometimes the cause is genetic, and sometimes it’s both. Bunions are not degenerative, which means they never get worse, but they do not get better on their own.
Most people can cure their bunions at home with almost no effort. Simply changing shoes may be enough to shrink the bone joint. If that does not help, consider a bunions splint. The bone growth will not go away overnight, but it will go away.
Addressing foot health issues the natural way is a very empowering experience and one that you’ll probably want to share with friends and family.