For Healthy Feet: Skip the Soak Foot baths aren't helpful — they can actually be harmful.

By rbergman Latest Reply 2009-02-12 18:04:49 -0600
Started 2009-02-12 09:45:52 -0600

Soaking your feet may feel soothing and seem smart, but it isn't necessary — and it can be dangerous. In fact, if you have dry skin on your feet, they should never be soaked. Prolonged soaking opens small cracks in your skin where germs can get in. That's how infections get started. Soaking also removes your natural skin oils. Repeatedly wetting and drying your feet can worsen dry skin problems, especially if you don't replenish lost moisture afterwards. For these reasons, soaking is not recommended. From a health point of view, the risks of soaking your feet outweigh the benefits.

If you're a diehard fan of foot baths and can't give them up, save them for when you don't have any wounds on your feet. Make sure the water isn't too hot, and don't let your feet stay submerged for too long (they shouldn't shrivel). Use a moisturizing lotion afterward.

2 replies

GabbyPA 2009-02-12 18:04:49 -0600 Report

Good notes. I found too that if you do soak them, not to use epsom salts. They also dry your feet out. In fact, yesterday, I was soaking my feet in a hot tub while we were waiting for a meeting to begin, and I didn't wash off the chlorine...I paid for it last night. My feet drove me nuts. I didn't figure it out until this morning when I was thinking about it. So if you go swimming, also rinse off that chlorine.

2009-02-12 11:28:20 -0600 Report

I'm not one who is always soaking their feet, but this is interesting information. It is something that would never have occured to me.

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