For those who have hooves that used to be human feet, the idea that the feet need to be tended to eventually filters through to conscious awareness. The buildup of calluses upon feet usually happens due to changes in moisture, poorly fitting shoes, or poor circulation. People who move from a moist area of the world to a dry area may discover that going barefoot results in some pretty scary callus formations within a couple of months. For those of us who grew up near an ocean, walked and jogged on the beach, and ate plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, it never hit the brain that feet needed more than toenail trimming and a little lotion.
Moving to a dry desert area brings a few rather horny problems to our feet. The alkali in the dirt further complicates the problem, drying formerly pretty feet into something resembling scaly hooves. Ick. Frequent pedicures don’t really help much either; salons now use chemical peels on callus formations and that can only be used about every ten days. Some pedicurists are too busy talking to their friends to notice the chemicals have slopped over onto healthy tissue, resulting in chemical burns that are quite painful.
For those seeking a more natural method of foot care, sans nasty chemicals and expensive pedicures, there is a kinder, gentler way to do it. While it is more work and definitely a DIY (Do It Yourself) project, the results are better, less expensive and healthier. There are just a few steps to doing it naturally: soak, scrape, moisturize, and cover; repeat every day. Even those with back injuries can take care of their own feet-they just have to find scrapers and lotion applicators with long handles (which can be found in many home health supply catalogs).
For the first part, either take a bath, soak the feet in a pan of hot water with castile soap, or plug the drain in the shower so water builds up over the feet. After cleaning the feet, get out what looks like a grater (found in the foot aids section of the grocery or drug store) and start grating the callused areas, being very careful near the healthy skin. Trust me, if you accidentally grate the healthy skin, you’ll know it… and will need to apply some first aid ointment. Don’t try to take the entire callus off at once; that will just be painful and create further problems.
After scraping a few layers off, clean the feet again and then apply a thick, creamy lotion or oil. Shea butter works well and some people like to use Crisco oil (the lard substitute in a can); use whatever works for you and whatever fits the budget. Then put on some socks; which can become problematic in the summer-time, if there is a problem with athlete’s foot fungus. If you are one who has fungus of foot or toe-nails, take care of that also or it will get worse when the feet are covered with socks. For those with really bad fungus, a different method of foot wrapping should be employed, such as using socks with the toe portion cut out or wrapping with a long piece of soft cotton.
At the very least, do this natural foot treatment at bedtime, so the callus formations get scraped off on a daily or every other day basis and the feet get moisturized at night. Even if wearing sandals during the daytime, some moisturizer can be applied to the feet first. Take care of your feet on a more frequent basis and the job becomes easier.