Being in martial arts I spend a lot of time barefoot. You learn pretty quickly how important having healthy feet is. Cracked heels, ingrown toenails, fungus, and broken nails can become a serious health issue for kids and adults alike. I thought I'd share how I keep my feet and my family's feet healthy. You don't have to do this stuff often or even all at once. Occasionally giving your feet some attention can make a huge different
1. Soak your feet.
You don't need a fancy foot bath or a lot of time either. If you have a shower with a drain, simply close it during your shower. The water will collect and soak your toes. No extra water or time. If you want even better results add 1/4-1/2 cup salt to the water. If you have Epsom salt that's great, but even table salt will work to clean out any bacteria. It also softens the skin and nails which makes it easier to deal with any issues.
2. Cut your toenails.
Trim straight across even if your nail bed is curved. This will keep the nail from growing up under the skin, causing a very painful ingrown toenail. This is especially important for kids because they're more likely to be wearing shoes that are too small (they grow so darn fast). Too small shoes or constantly wearing close toed shoes can increase chances of an ingrown toenail.
3. Clean out any dirt.
Gently remove any dirt that's worked it's way under your toenails or the skin along the side of the nail.
4. Buff away.
Take a nail file or any other abrasive surface and buff the top of your nails. Yes, do the whole nail, not just the edge. You can also buff any callouses or rough spots on the whole foot. This removes dead skin and makes the next step work better.
5. Lemon Juice.
Put a little lemon juice on a cotton ball or Q-tip. Rub it into your toenails. It will soak into the nail and soften the skin around it. This will help kill bacteria and make it easier to remove any dirt you couldn't get out before. It also make your nails look awesome!
Rub lotion all over your feet. You can use stronger foot balm for rough heels or callouses. Don't forget to rub lotion into your toenails too. Nails are tissue just like skin and if they dry out they're more vulnerable to injury and infection.
If you're doing this with your kids it can be hard to get boys to sit still, but it's worth it. Healthy feet are important!