I just thought I would write up my thoughts on something that I have come to take seriously when I’m travelling in Thailand. Of course when we are away from home we pack some essential toiletries and a few things to take care of ourselves such as antiseptic cream, aspirin or paracetamol, something for insect bites.
I wear sandals in the Summer in England from time to time, but in Thailand I more or less live in them. Those who chose to wear flip-flop type shoes are even more exposed. For feet conditioned to living in shoes of one kind or another this is a bit of a shock. It didn’t occur to me the first time I travelled, and I don’t recall having trouble travelling in Brazil in my 20s. Maybe my older skin is less resilient. Perhaps my female friends are more used to having to take care of their feet, but for me it was something of a novelty.
The skin around the heel and sometimes the ball of the foot starts drying out. It can crack and become painful. On top of that the feet can get incredibly dirty and washing them before getting into bed at night becomes important to avoid soiling the sheets. Just rubbing the soles of the feet with a bit of shower gel on the hands really doesn’t do the job. So here is the essential kit I now always pack:
- Shower gel
- Nail brush
- Something abrasive like a pumice stone
You’ll need the nail brush not just to clean around the toenails, but to scrub all over the soles of the feet to deal with the worst of the dirt that gets ingrained. With that and the shower gel you should be able to get things looking a bit more respectable. Next, while the feet are still wet have a go at any hard skin, particularly around the edges of the heel and the ball of the big toe. When everything is dry, and before getting into bed, use some sort of moisturising cream in those same areas. This helps keep the feet soft but also acts as a barrier cream for the dirt of the next day.
Wishing you happy feet on your travels.