A Recalcitrant Wife and Mother Tells All

Foot Care 101

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,


© Copyright 2011, The Bearded Iris


  1. Rochelle

    I’m completely speechless after seeing those nasty feet! Not yours though Iris- they’re beauuutiful!

  2. Allysgrandma

    OMGosh, as usual, we are right in sync! Had my annual exam yesterday and left my socks on. Dr. Beth took them off, looked at my feet and said…”Wow you don’t have any fungus! How have you avoided that?” Ummm… I don’t know. She continued, “Usually by your age most people have it”. Most people my age??? I mean she is only 1 year younger than me! But being childless (which translates to skinny) and slightly hippiesh looking, she looks about 10 years younger! Apparently I have lovely feet too and didn’t even know it. That because I wear shoes all the time! I can’t stand feeling the crunch of whatever on the floor under my bare feet so I always wear shoes and socks. (Of course I could sweep the floor more). My shoes…..Merrill slip ons..I never wear F-me heels….ever! I think I would twist my ankle if I tried!

  3. Megan

    So help me clear this up. Are your’s the feet on the porch railing or the ones with a watch wrapped around them? Either way, nice feet.

  4. Anne

    Thanks for the tip Iris. My poor feet cop a battering in the warmer months due to just wearing flip flops all the time. I can’t wait to get them in a good pair of runners and sweaty socks, just to get some moisture back into the cruddy old things.

    Nice feet? What about the rest of the body? Not only your feet but the rest of you is gorgeous too.

  5. Christy

    A friend of mine lost her big toe nails (the one’s who go to the market) due to trauma. Since it was sandal season she had a manicurist glue a fake nail on those toes. You could’t tell the difference!

  6. Erin

    you do have pretty feet! 🙂 your post cracked me up!!

  7. Susan S

    You do indeed have great feet! I kind of like mine as well, but they were never famous, like your’s. Nevertheless, they get me where I am going.

  8. MikeP

    Nicely manicured.

    I don’t have photographic evidence but I’ve got a WEBBED TOE. Right foot, two toes next to the big one. Joined by an extra web membrane of skin. I’m differently-abled when it comes to toes.

  9. I'm So Fancy

    Thanks for the tips! I too shared a fascination with my feet. Until that little bunion reared his ugly, bumpy head. Sigh.

  10. DebbieW999

    I too lost a toe nail. I was dreaming, and in my dream I kicked my husband (don’t ask!). In reality, I kicked the side railing on our water bed! Needless to say, I woke up immediately! The nail on my big toe turned purple and eventually fell off (I limped for weeks). It took months before my new nail grew out, but when it did it was beautiful, smooth and shiny!! My feet spend most of the summer in garden clogs, so I don’t worry much about the “decorating” part!!
    P.S. I thought the first set of long toe nails was the grossest I’ve ever seen, until you topped it with the second set–yuck!

  11. laura lee

    Oh thank you, Toots!!!

  12. Sue at Livin In Duckville

    Your tootsies are beautiful…… those others…. ooooogly!!! Oogly-boogly-oogly!!! Grossed The Princess & me out!!

  13. Kristen Kotrlik

    I don’t remember giving you permission to use my foot photos.

    (And, I had to keep going back and looking at your head shot… I needed the laugh.)

  14. Shannon

    I just discovered this shoe company a few weeks ago when I was searching for products that are made in the USA. (I am crunchy and patriotic like that) Now that I know you are a piggy toe model for them I will have to buy some!! They seem like a great company. Also – I can’t tell you how many times I have precariously balanced on a porch railing in a floral apron, cuffed jeans, and flip-flops! Only like every day of my life!

    ps- my toes =skanky, but my hands, they are loverly….together, with photoshop, we could rule the world.

  15. Jacques

    Your feet are GORGEOUS . They are THE prettiest feet I have ever seen ((((sigh)))

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