You know the drill…temps start to rise and your feet are just begging to get out of closed shoes. In their place it’s time for sandals, strappy shoes, flip-flops and going au naturel…barefoot. If you’ve neglected your feet up until the summertime, you should definitely pay attention to them now. Here are some important tips for maintaining beautiful summer feet that you can show off all season long.
Take Care of “Rough” Spots
If your feet have been covered up and stuffed into closed shoes for the past few months, they may exhibit dry and scaly skin patches. You can feel this by gently rubbing your palm over your heels, the sides of your feet and your big toes. To remove dry skin, soak your feet in warm water and then exfoliate. Dry your feet with a clean, absorbent towel and allow them to air dry for a few more minutes. Next, you can use a pumice stone or foot file to remove calluses. Pro tip: End by applying lotion to keep your feet moisturized.
Avoid or Treat Blisters
It not uncommon to break in new sandals in the summer. Depending on the fit, donning a new pair of sandals often comes with the discomfort and pain of blisters. Blisters are sores formed as a result of consistent chafing of the skin against a rigid surface – in this case, your footwear. The friction causes your skin to be lifted, and the area becomes engorged with fluid in order to protect deeper layers of skin underneath.
Podiatrists advise buying comfortable footwear that doesn’t require being “broken in.” Make sure you give preference to soft fabric or leather uppers. And don’t forget to test new shoes before purchasing. If you buy online, test them our right away to avoid missing a crucial Returns/Exchange window if you procrastinate.
Even properly-fitting shoes can cause blisters if you wear them for prolonged periods of time, in wet conditions, or for activities they weren’t designed for. If you develop a blister, try to clean the area with hand soap and leave it intact – bursting it can prolong the healing and lead to infection. However, if it is painful, you can use a sterilized needle to poke a tiny hole to drain the fluid. Leave the skin intact and apply a good antibiotic ointment, then cover with bandage. If you are diabetic, please consult a podiatry specialist for any foot care treatment, especially if it is slow to heal or appears to get worse.
Treat Fungal Infections
The summer season is also conducive to the the growth and spread of microbes. Being around wet areas like public swimming pools and gym locker rooms can expose you to these heat and moisture-loving organisms. For this reason, proper care should be taken to treat different types of fungal infections like ringworm and athlete’s foot. To avoid any type of infection, you need to keep your feet clean and dry at all times. Some people experience great preventive results by using anti-fungal ointments or antibacterial powder.
If you can’t beat a case of athlete’s foot – or if you develop a toenail fungus infection – contact Houston Foot and Ankle Care for safe and effective treatment.
Exfoliate Regularly and Keep Feet Moisturized
In order to prevent accumulation of dead skin on your feet, you need to exfoliate regularly. For your feet to be soft and look pretty all summer, you must exfoliate your feet 2 times a week. A mixture of olive oil and sugar will get rid of dead skin and you will be left will a glowing soft foot. After the shower, remember to use a good foot cream to keep the feet moisturized. You can also apply a coat of body lotion in the cause of the day’s activities.
Get a Safe Pedicure
Your favorite footwear for summer is most likely going to be open toe shoes or sandals. Needless to say that your toenails may accumulate a considerable amount of dirt; similarly you will sweat more in summer, hence the need for a safe pedicure.
Be sure that your pedicure kit and tools are clean and sterile. Don’t share pedicure tools with anyone. If not properly sterilized (autoclaving is best), clippers and files can transmit nail fungus or bacterial infection. If a nail salon looks sketchy, turn around and find a clean and hygienic place.
Most of the tips shared in this article are simple and can be practiced at home. However, there are times when something as simple as a blister or skin rash can turn into something more serious. You can call (713) 541-3199 to schedule an appointment with Houston podiatrist Gabriel Maislos, DPM, FACFAS. Dr. Maislos provides long-term foot care for patients, treatment of trauma or injury, and corrective surgery for all types of foot and ankle problems. Young or old, foot pain is not natural, and you owe it to yourself to preserve your mobility.
Call (713) 541-3199 if you experience:
- unsightly toes or toenails
- corns and calluses
- slow healing cuts or blisters