Our Feet: The Unsung Heroes We Rely On
By Cesar Collado
Every day, we take for granted the enormous responsibility we place on our feet to carry us through the day, take care of our families, ourselves (exercise), and make a living. Our feet are unsung heroes providing critical functions to every aspect of our lives while supporting our body weight, balancing, and keeping us mobile. The foot is made of 26 bones, 43 muscles, 33 joints, and 50 tendons and ligaments. Poorly cared for feet can cause many other body issues such as ankle pain, knee issues, back problems, and infectious diseases. Our feet health can also provide early warnings for other physical illnesses such as diabetes, heart disease, circulatory problems, dehydration, inflammatory diseases, and infection.
The feet also have approximately 250,000 sweat glands which typically produce about ½ of pint of seat each day. When moisture is accumulated when confined to hosiery and footwear, the bacteria on our skin leads to stinky feet. Fungi present in the environment exposure or our internal microbiome can lead to fungal infections such as athletes foot fungus or toenail fungus. Unfortunately, the feet do not enjoy the evaporation that benefits the hands and continuous washing throughout the day.
How Much Do Our Feet Endure?
The average person (moderately active) takes approximately 7,500 steps/day. If this was maintained daily through the age of 80, you will have walked about 215 Million steps throughout your life. You would average about 1,300 to 1,500 miles a year. Doing the math, the average person, with an average stride, living until 80 years old, will walk the distance of over 110,000 miles.
It is estimated that 50 M (38%) people in the US will get at least 1 pedicure in 2019. In contrast, 85% of drivers are concerned about maintaining proper tire pressure on their automobiles. 57% of the population take an active role in maintaining their tires.
It is important to note that the wear on our feet is cumulative. That means that the punishment they have endured when we were younger remains relevant to foot health today.
Benefits of Pedicures
The average pedicures are long believed to be a form of pampering and cosmetic in nature; however, when done properly, they provide a means of foot health that can ensure foot health. The benefit is not just cosmetic, they mitigate risks of foot problems and subsequently mobility that can be enormously disruptive to anyone’s life.
The key health benefits of pedicures:
Relaxes the body
Early detection of foot issues to prevent painful or health-threatening problems that can worsen such as corns, bunions, and fungal infections
Decrease chances of infection, especially from toenail issues
Preserve skin moisture and maintain nail strength to protect
Exfoliate the skin. This includes the prevention of accumulation of dead skins cells that can cause bunions or corns. It is especially important on the heals where cracking can be painful and expose feet to infection.
These procedures are performed by highly skilled foot care specialists. They are less about cosmetic looks and color and more about the health of your feet and nails. They are non-invasive and use dry procedures to prevent infection. These services are more costly and will likely cost $60-$125. People who depend on their feet for their livelihood, such as athletes, performing artists, and exercise enthusiasts should consider these types of pedicures.
It is important to recognize the importance of being vigilant about the cleanliness and sanitary practices in your nail salon. The EPA provides strict guidelines on the cleaning and sanitation between clients. This includes a 10-minute soak with jets running in foot spas with an EPA registered sanitation agent. Liners do not suffice and leave your feet vulnerable to bacteria, fungi, and viruses that settle in the jets of the foot spa.
Worry Free Pedi Sanitation Tablets can be dropped in foot spa immediately to mitigate the risk of contracting an infection from the foot spa. You cannot be absolutely sure that any one of the many clients before you had foot infections, fungus, or warts.
1. Hayley. “10 Common Foot Problems.”. Facty Health. Nov 29, 2018
2. “Foot Health Facts”, American college of Foot and Ankle Surgeons
3. Valenti Lauren. Why You Should Be Getting a Medical Pedicure This Summer.” Marie Claire. May 18, 2017