Caring for your feet

Top tips for healthy feet

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“The human foot is a masterpiece of engineering and a work of art” – Leonardo Di Vinci. With the foot containing 100 intricate muscles, 30 joints and 26 bones it is important that we know how to care for our feet.


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Your shoes must be comfortable, but this doesn’t mean they must be completely worn and tattered. If they are, it’s time to treat yourself to some new shoes. Remember your shoes mustn’t squash your toes as this can cause corns and calluses so always wear shoes that do not rub, cramp or pinch your feet. Buy the shoes that feel and fit the best.  Think about the support for your foot and ankle in particular – not too tight or loose, but with a little room in the toe box of the shoe so that your toes and your arch are not compressed.  It is also important that socks fit properly and aren’t too big or too small as this can cause unnecessary rubbing on the skin of your feet.


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Where you can – get your feet out of your shoes and go barefoot!  Wearing shoes or heavy work boots daily takes a toll on our feet. So, when work is done – get your footwear off, clean and freshen up your feet with a quick soak in warm soapy water and air them. If you have been on your feet all day – elevate them as this helps circulation, reduces swelling and pressure, and helps relieve any muscle tension in your legs and feet.  Additionally, if you can go outside barefoot and “ground” your feet daily this been proved to have added health benefits for body, mind, and spirit.


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Actively work on your foot mobility as this helps with balance which is important as we age. Stretch your feet out regularly, wriggle your toes, point, and flex them.  If they are tired and sore perform a little “soft tissue massage” on them by putting a ball (tennis ball or rubber massage ball) under your feet and roll it around to massage the soles and arches of your feet.  Stretch your toes out over the ball to increase their flexibility and mobility. Combined with massage and elevation this will also increase circulation as well.


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Sunburnt feet and ankles can be painful and it’s easy to forget about your feet being exposed to the sun. Remember to rub sunscreen into the skin on the top of your feet, your toes and your ankles if going out into the sun barefoot or in sandals.


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Deal with any unresolved or unexplained foot pain or mobility issues by taking them to your foot care professional or doctor. It may not be something as simple to treat as a corn, callus, cracked heel or fungal infection but rather more serious like a side-effect of undiagnosed diabetes.


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There is an Eastern proverb that says: “You die from the feet up.” When we think about this saying it sharpens our focus on just how important caring for our feet is, and how important they are to our future health and mobility.

We often take our feet for granted until we have a problem that causes us pain or inhibits our movement and balance.  Blisters, an ingrown toenail, uncomfortable calluses, painful corns, or verrucae (warts) – all of these can be the root of pain and discomfort. So, whether you like the look of your feet or not, you need to look after them and get into a self-care habit by following these simple steps:

  • Examine the state of your nails and feet regularly.
  • Check between your toes for signs of fungal infections.
  • Check for verrucae, calluses and corns on the pads and edges of your feet.
  • Check your heels for dry areas or cracks.


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1.Exfoliate your feet

Start by giving your feet a really good exfoliation to get rid of all those dead skin cells. Before exfoliating, you would soak your feet in warm water and Epsom salts for 15 to 20 minutes to heal any winter damage. You can then lightly scrub your heels with a pumice stone, cleaning and drying thoroughly afterwards – especially between the toes. An alternative to the pumice stone is combining the Epsom salts with some olive oil to make a paste that can be rubbed over the foot.

2. Moisturise your feet

In the evenings, before going to bed, it’s a good idea to apply moisturiser or petroleum jelly to your feet to help lock in that natural moisture in the evenings. Once the moisturiser has been applied, you can slip on socks if it’s a cool evening, otherwise bare feet are fine. This should help you prevent cracked heels and toes. However, if you have dry cracked heels then use a heel to seal the cracks.

Alternatively use a Heel Balm to soften and rehydrate your cracked heels and dry feet. It works even better, if you apply the heel balm at night and cover your feet with socks.

3. Keep your toenails short and trim your nails correctly

Cutting your toenails is important, but you need to ensure you’re cutting them properly or you could risk painful ingrown toenails and other footcare concerns. Use good quality clippers and cut your nails straight across, leaving them long enough for the corners to lie loosely against the skin on the sides. Don’t cut them too short, round the edges, or cut them into a V-shape.

4. Inspect toenails for changes

Take some time to inspect that your toenails haven’t thickened or changed in colour. If so, this could be an indication of a fungal infection which needs to be treated by a medical professional. A good way to prevent such fungal infections is by keeping your feet clean and dry. Add some Foot Powder to your feet and shoes as this absorbs the sweat and kills the organisiums that result in fungal infections and help treat athlete’s foot.


For overall foot health and any skin complaints on your feet the following are available:

  • for Corns and Calluses – KROKO Corn and Callus remover, KROKO CornFix, KROKO medicated Corn Plasters and KROKO Corn Protector cushions.
  • for Cracked Heels – use Kroko HeelFix to paint over and seal the cracks. Alternatively, to moisturise dry, cracked heels use KROKO Heel Balm especially at night. Massage into cracked and dry areas and cover with socks while sleeping for maximum hydration.
  • for Verrucae and common warts – use KROKO WartFix.
  • to keep your feet and shoes fresh and odour free use KROKO Foot & Shoe Odor Control Spray
  • to help prevent and treat athletes’ foot and to keep feet fresh and dry use KROKO Foot Powder.

About Kroko

Established in 1936, Kroko’s pharmaceutically formulated footcare products have been used by generations to improve foot hygiene and in the treatment of corns, calluses, and cracked heels. Kroko’s product range now includes remedies for warts, cracked skin, minor cuts and scratches. All Kroko products are proudly South African, and clinically tested to maintain a high standard of quality and excellence. Kroko is stocked at all good pharmacies including Clicks, DisChem, and online at Takealot. Kroko is a registered trademark of Kroko Health Care (Pty) Ltd. Visit

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