Any podiatrist will tell you that looking after your feet on a daily basis is incredibly important. Sore dry skin, extreme nail infections and other problems can cause embarrassment and pain, and in time may become debilitating. Here are three home remedies to help you to kill off fungus infections and moisturise your skin to ensure you have healthy feet that feel great and are free of odour causing bacteria.
1. Tee Tree Oil
Tea tree oil is an incredibly versatile essential oil with anti-fungal and bacterial properties. When used on nails, it can help to kill off fungal nail infections and improve the appearance of the nail very quickly. According to Mayo Clinic, 100% tea tree oil should be applied to the infected nail and the skin surrounding it twice a day for up to six months. Applying the oil is easy. First, wash and dry your feet. Then, using a fine nail file and some clean clippers, clear away as much nail as possible before applying the oil using a cotton swab. By filing the nail away, the oil will have a better chance of making direct contact with the fungus, while cleaning the skin around the nail helps to reduce contamination of other nails. Be aware that treatment must be consistent, or else the fungus will just grow back.
2. Homemade Lemon Cream
Keeping your feet well moisturised is important to reduce cracked skin, which can become sore and inflamed. Drinking plenty of water is an easy way to maintain your skin's moisture, which is even more important with your feet, as they contain no oil glands. Should you find yourself with dry skin, wash and dry your feet thoroughly, then apply one to two teaspoons of petroleum jelly mixed with the juice of one lemon. Apply to the affected area just before bedtime and put on some thick socks; preferably woollen ones which will help to keep the moisture in. Alternatively, you can apply olive oil to your foot, which will work in the same way.
3. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar (ACV) has been used for hundreds of years due to its potent medicinal properties. Try pouring half a cup of ACV and half a cup of Epsom salts into a warm bowl for a relaxing footbath. The ACV will help to treat fungal infections while the Epson salts will moisturise your feet. If you wish to spruce it up a little, try adding a tablespoon each of dried lavender, freshly grated ginger, sage and rosemary for a scented spa treatment.