Here’s something you might not know about me: I have nice feet.

In fact, my feet are definitely my favorite part of my body.

Wanna see?

You know you do.

Wait. Let me just pull them out of the sand first…

Iris has lovely feet. See? What did I tell you? Nice, eh?

Look at the pretty arch, the well balanced toes, the noticeable lack of any corns, bunions, calluses, or hammer toes. I love my feet.

My feet are SO nice, in fact, that I was even a bona fide foot model once! True story. One time a couple of years ago my friend Laura the photographer got a gig to take pictures for a local sandal company and she asked little ol’ ME to be her sandal model for the company’s new ad campaign.

Here’s the original picture that Laura took. Damn that girl has skills.

And save your wise cracks…it totally doesn’t bother me that my face is cropped out. I’m used to it. We all have to work with what the Good Lord gave us, right?

See what I mean?

So here’s Laura’s photo as it appeared on the sandal company’s website a couple years ago:

Pretty exciting, no?! I just did it as a favor for Laura… it was never supposed to be a career move for me or anything. She told me later that an enormous wall-sized poster of this image was displayed at the sandal company’s annual convention. If I had any idea that my body was going to be so popular I would have charged more than a pair of rubber sandals. Geez. Story of my life.

Anyhoooo, I bring this up because low and behold, about a month ago, one of my toenails just up and fell right off. It’s the little piggy that stayed home, not the one that went to market.

It was devastating.

Being a nice Catholish girl, I immediately assumed it was due to my excessive pride in my feet. What’s that bible verse about pride coming before a fall? Yeah. That one.

So I went to a podiatrist to find out what the heck is wrong with me. I was afraid it was a fungus and since flip flop weather was right around the corner, I certainly could not risk having toenails that look like BBQ Fritos.

And what with ads like this on the TV…

The Lamisil “Digger” Ad (totally gross, watch with caution)

I don’t need to tell you that I was completely freaking out! How effin’ gross is THAT?

But my lovely Caribbean podiatrist said in her breezy rhythmic accent: “No. It’s not a foooongus.  It’s from trooooma.”

Huh? “Trauma?”

“Yes, trooooma. Did you drop someting on your toe?”

“No. I don’t think so.”

“Did you stub it on someting?”

“No. I don’t think so.”

“It could be from your shoes. Sometimes nail trooooma occurs over time from eel-fitting shoes.” (ill-fitting)

OMG. That’s got to be it. My signature leopard pumps, perhaps? Shit.

I started having visions of having to wear shoes like this:

Oh. No. Sorry. Not going to happen. I’d rather gnaw both my feet off with my teeth than wear those things.

Instead, I decided to do some research and find out how to better care for my feet so I could avoid losing more toenails or having to wear orthopedic shoes. And since it’s Just the Tip Tuesday, I’m going to share my new knowledge with you, dear readers.

Feet are very important and complex body parts. I’m not a podiatrist, so if you have serious foot problems, please seek professional advice. But if you are just interested in some basic foot-care tips, stay with me. Unless you are a podophile, then please leave.

First of all, each of your feet contain about 250,000 sweat glands, which can produce as much as 1 pint of moisture as water vapor per day. Holy CRAP. Who knew?

Now, listen. Just because you own a pair of state-of-the-art SmartWool socks that are designed to be temperature regulating, moisture absorbing, and antimicrobial, doesn’t mean you don’t have to change your socks everyday. Duh. Change your socks, dumbass. Every day. Wash those mofos. Dirty socks can lead to fungal growth. Ewwww.

And don’t just wash your sweaty socks, wash your feet daily with soap and water too. That dried sweat is bacteria’s favorite food. Did you know that food odor is merely the excrement of the sweat-eating-bacteria? Yep. How nasty is that?! It’s not the sweat that smells, it is the bacteria’s POOP. I said POOP, people. Are you listening? Daily foot washings will remove that stinky bacteria poop and the bacteria that poops it. Wash your feet!

Keep your toenails trimmed, and trim them straight across, never rounded, to avoid ingrown toenails. Also, neatly trimmed toenails are less likely to rub up against the front of your shoes and cause troooooma to the nail bed. So this look is definitely out:

And for more than just the crazy length. Damn. How does that bitch even walk? And just so we’re clear, basic care FIRST, decorate SECOND. I mean really. You wouldn’t paint your house if the siding was warped; you’d fix the siding first. Same with your toes. Gaw.

Wow. Just. Wow. Sorry about that.

But speaking of which… my Caribbean podiatrist says we should give our tootsies a break from nail polish now and then.  The nail beds can’t breathe when they are covered in paint or lacquer. She says the winter is a good time to take a break. Remember that next winter, okay? Or for my Aussie and Peruvian friends, remember that now.

And lastly, did you know that most foot ailments are due to neglect and abuse? According to the APMA (The American Podiatric Medical Association), shoes that do not fit can cause bunions, corns, calluses, hammertoes and other disabling foot disorders. So don your F-Me Heels in moderation and alternate them with something more comfortable and supportive. Your feet will thank you, and so will your friends and family who have to look at those barking dogs all summer long.

very humbly yours,

-Iris

© Copyright 2011, The Bearded Iris