Up until yesterday, I thought it was just me. That maybe I was the only one dealing with a pretty gross lockdown side effect.
I’m talking about isolation feet. Or iso feet, for short.
Think: Dry heels. Crusty toes. Random flaky patches of skin. A beautiful thick layer of white, parched skin. Oh, and they smell more than usual, too.
As it turns out, I’m definitely not the only one with iso feet. Far be it from me to tell you what’s going on with your body, but if you’re spending a lot more time at home wearing slides, thongs or no shoes at all, you might have them too.
‘Meh, we’re coming into winter,’ you say. ‘I’ll just be wearing boots and sneakers soon anyway.’
And they’re very valid points. Regardless of how dry, cracked feet look, it’s how they feel that matters and left unattended, feet issues can turn into something more painful down the track.
Short of seeing a podiatrist (which is actually a really great idea, when you’re able), I asked some experts how to treat iso feet at home.
WATCH: Here are seven ways to improve your skin while you sleep, post continues after video.
But first, here’s what you really shouldn’t use on your feet at home…
1. Motorised foot tools.
These tools look like they work (because you end up with lots of white dust coming off your foot), but Dr Frances Henshaw, a registered podiatrist, researcher and Western Sydney University lecturer, says they’re not really worth your time or money.
“Motorised foot tools always make a lot of dust but there is evidence this can be harmful… and imagine if you were breathing in skin that had foot fungus on it?” she told Mamamia.
In other words, use at your own risk.
2. Any kind of foot grater, peeler or corn plane tool.
If you’re into gross beauty things like pimple popping, you might be tempted to go at your feet with any number of foot peelers, corn plane tools or foot graters – or worse, an actual food grater.
Dr Henshaw says these are “very dodgy” and have a “limited effect”. You can also end up with bits of grated skin hanging off your feet, lots of bleeding or infection.
“If you need to get skin cut off, a podiatrist must do it. Not you, not a pedicurist. And if sharp implements are used, they really need to be sterilised.”