Hand and foot care needs particular emphasis because the skin is thicker here and is exposed to wear and tear of the environment more often. So, you need to wash them to remove dirt and irritants, exfoliate to scrub the thick skin and then moisturise them to restore the soft and supple look.
Step 1 is Cleaning:
Cleaning of hands and feet should be done while taking a bath by massaging soap or liquid cleanser vigorously. Do not forget to clean in between toes and fingers. You might have to clean your hand several times a day, but remember each time you wash your hand moisturise them especially if the skin of your hand feels dry and stretched. You should clean and moisturise your feet just before going to bed; this would remove not only dirt but also aid in getting sound sleep.
Step 2 is Exfoliate:
Skin of feet gets thickened in areas of constant pressure leading to the formation of callus and painful corns, especially if this thick skin is not removed. This thickened skin is made of dead skin cells compacted together. Exfoliation will help in removing these dead cells giving a smoother look to your feet. There are two methods of exfoliation:
- Pumice stone: You should scrub the thick skin of your feet by rubbing with a pumice stone at least once a week. The pressure on pumice stone should neither be too gentle nor harsh, just enough so that it does not hurt.
- Scrub: You can use nutshell or pumice based scrubs on hands and feet once or twice a week. Massage scrub for few minutes working on thick areas and between toes and fingers.
Step 3 is Moisturise:
Skin of hands and feet get dry easily because they lack oil secreting glands though there are abundant of sweat glands. Beside inherent tendency of dryness, hands are frequently exposed to water, detergent and other household irritants that further strips natural moisturising factors damaging skin barrier and henceforth dermatitis. To keep your hands soft and supple moisturise them after each hand wash or at least when you feel dryness or stretch in the skin of your hands. In contrast to the constant moisturising routine of hands, twice a day application of moisturiser on feet in the morning and at bedtime is enough. You can use petroleum jelly, bland creams, coconut or sunflower oil for moisturising hand and feet.
For care of your nails read, Beautiful and healthy nails- Guidelines of care from dermatologist