You probably go to great lengths to take care of your body – you eat right, exercise regularly, and invest in products that keep you healthy. If you are like many people, though, you may not be giving your hands and feet the care they need.
Your hands and feet endure quite a bit of abuse throughout a busy day. The average American takes 3,000 to 4,000 steps each day, for example, and you use your hands for countless different activities throughout the day. Hard work, exposure to the elements, and neglect can leave your hands and feet looking terrible and feeling even worse.
Fortunately, it is easy to improve the care you give your hands and feet so they always look and feel their best.
TIPS FOR CARING FOR YOUR HANDS AND FEET
1. WASH WISELY
Washing your hands is important to prevent the spread of disease, of course, but anti-bacterial soaps can strip out the natural oils in your skin to leave your hands dry, raw, and cracked. Added ingredients, such as fragrances, can also dry out your hands. Instead, wash your hands with fragrance-free moisturizing soap; look for soaps containing hydrating ingredients, such as shea butter, aloe vera, or olive oil. Hot water can also dry out your skin, so always use warm water to wash your hands.
2. TREAT YOUR FEET NICELY
Wear proper fitting shoes that are appropriate for whatever activities you are doing. Prop your feet up whenever possible to reduce inflammation and ease pain.
3. INSPECT YOUR NAILS REGULARLY
Small white spots, known as leukonychia, are usually harmless and develop as the result of minor injuries, such as from nail biting or picking at nails. Black, brown, or purple spots may be cause for concern – these spots may be bruising as the result of a more severe injury or a sign of melanoma, which is the most serious form of skin cancer. If you wear nail polish on your fingernails or toenails, inspect your nails in between manicures and pedicures.