Friday, August 31, 2012

Dry Foot Treatments

Dealing with dry feet can be painful and irritating. When your feet don't get enough moisture it causes the skin to dry and this can lead to cracked heels, dry skin patches, calluses and other uncomfortable conditions. If not treated properly dry feet can worsen and the cracks in the skin can deepen and pose a risk for infection from bacteria. In addition to being unhealthy, dry feet are also unsightly and women who suffer from dry feet are reluctant to wear flip flops and strappy shoes out of embarrassment. If you are concerned about the dryness of the skin on your feet consider some easy tips for keeping feet properly moisturized to reduce the chances of cracked heels and calluses.

A lack of moisture can be due to dehydration. One way to combat dry feet and cracked heels is to drink plenty of water so your body stays well hydrated. However, moisturizing skin doesn't mean soaking in water. In fact, the more you expose your feet to warm or hot water in a bath tub or shower the more likely you are to dry the skin. Try to keep your bath and shower time to a minimum and avoid water that is too hot. If you do want to soak your feet use warm water and add honey or baby oil to it for a soothing remedy that can help heal cracked skin.

You should moisturize your feet at least twice day with a hypoallergenic lotion. Gently rub the lotion over your feet and make sure you apply a liberal amount to dry patch areas and cracks. You can also use petroleum jelly and lotions that contain vitamin E, shea butter and aloe to help soothe the irritation caused by dry, cracked skin. In addition to moisturizing your feet daily you also need to keep the soles clean. Dirt and bacteria will worsen any dry skin condition and the more you cleanse your feet the better since the skin will be healthier and smoother making it more comfortable to walk.

Exfoliating your feet is also recommended for healing dry skin and cracked heels. By removing dead skin cells you revitalize the feet and rejuvenate the skin by revealing new skin layers. All parts of the body shed dead skin but people often overlook the feet and this can lead to an accumulation of dead skin that will only worsen conditions of dry feet and cracked heels. By taking careful steps to cleanse, exfoliate and moisturize the skin on your feet you can alleviate dry skin.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Some Alternative Treatments for Toenail Fungus

Toenail fungus is often very hard to treat. Even once treated it may come back again. There are alternative treatments available for this condition but the solution is not a quick one. It can take four to six months to get rid of the infection. In some cases the entire nail has to be re-grown.

There are four types of fungal infection called onychomycosis. This is the most common form of infection found on the toe nails. Of these the most common starts on the tip of the toe nail. It penetrates all the layers and then expands down to the cuticle. There is another type that works in the opposite direction from base to tip of nail. One type that is not as common, starts out as just a small spot on a nail but can expand throughout the surface, remaining on the top layers. The Candida form will infect the skin that surrounds the nails.

A fungus is something that must be found at the initial stages. This makes it easier to remedy and keep from recurring. At the first sign of a white or yellow spot on the nail, a doctor should be seen. They can test the area to determine what it is and how to treat it.

Although the symptoms of this infection are most often cosmetic, it can be a source of embarrassment for those who have it. The nail becomes thicker and thicker then has a cracked appearance. It may become brittle and start crumbling from the tip down. The shape may be distorted and the nail loses its natural shine. It may be a severe case and involve pain and a foul odor.

The infection being in the nail makes it so the body is unable to fight the infection. All nails have keratin in them and fungus feeds off of it and grows. It should not be ignored because the damage is sometimes permanent. The nail may fall away from the skin of the toe and it is possible to get cellulites, a skin condition.

The medicine that is usually prescribed for this condition may have some unpleasant side effects. Some find it to be quite expensive, partly because of the amount of time it must be taken. The topical treatments found in the drug store work well for as long as they are being used. Once they are stopped the condition returns.

Some alternative remedies are very inexpensive. Vinegar has been found to have the ability to inhibit bacteria growth. A foot bath of two parts water and one part vinegar may provide some relief. Soak feet each day for about 15 minutes. Oregano oil is a very strong remedy. It contains antibacterial, antimicrobial, anti fungal and anti parasitic properties. A few drops mixed with olive oil can be rubbed into nails every day. Do not use for longer than three weeks. Tea tree oil acts as an antiseptic and a fungicide. It kills fungus and prohibits the growth of microorganisms. Combine tea tree oil, olive oil and thyme oil and rub into nails daily.

Toenail fungus is something that can be prevented in most cases, although it can be hereditary. Be sure to get to a doctor immediately if an infection is suspected. Keep feet clean and dry with socks that absorb sweat and keep shoes on in public showers and bathrooms.