We don’t know about you, but we think it feels like spring is in the air and that means putting the Uggs away, getting the flip flips out and making sure our feet are in good condition after a long, cold winter.
We have put together some easy to follow tips to get your toes and feet happy and healthy for the summer.
When you are in the shower, use your body scrub to exfoliate your feet and in between your toes, as bacteria can live here that can cause infections.
Dry your feet well
Dry your feet thoroughly after washing them, especially between the toes as is where fungal infections such as athlete’s foot can develop.
Keep them smooth
There is nothing worse than scratchy, coarse feet so get into the habit of using a pumice stone or foot file on damp heels and calluses as this will keep them healthy and looking good. First, soak your feet in warm water for around 10 minutes to help soften your skin. Then gently remove the thickened skin with a pumice stone, take your time, go easy and don’t rub until the skin is raw. Little and often is the key to success. Apply foot scrubs or gentle exfoliators to your feet to further remove dead skin. Finally apply a foot cream or balm containing shea or cocoa butter and let the goodness get to work, free of shoes or socks.
If your heels are very dry and cracked for an extended period, you might want to talk to a podiatrist or chiropodist but if it is every day wear and tear, using a moisturising product on a regular basis will keep them in tip-top condition.
Protect from the sun
We are getting better at wearing sunscreen on our faces and bodies, but don’t always remember to put it on the tops of our feet and toes. Apply a broad-spectrum cream with an SPF of at least 30 when you’re going barefoot or wearing open shoes and make sure you don’t burn as it can be really painful and potentially dangerous.
Go easy on the polish
We know painted nails look great with flip flops and sandals, but nails naturally become more brittle with age and the ingredients in some polish products can dry your nails even further. Every couple of weeks remove your nail varnish, using an alcohol-free product, and allow your toenails to breathe for a few days before treating yourself to a relaxing pedicure.
Trim your toenails on a regular basis using proper nail clippers not kitchen scissors. The best way to do this is to cut straight across the nail, never at an angle or down the edges as this can cause painful ingrown nails. After cutting your nails, moisturise them with either a cuticle cream, petroleum jelly, or Vitamin E oil.
Limit high heels
We all love heels but they don’t do us many favours in the long run and they can cause posture, back and knee problems. Keep them for special occasions, try not to wear them all day long and if you need insoles or plasters, use them as your feet will thank you.
Take care with flip-flops
We know it is tempting in the summer to wear flip-flops all the time but they don’t provide any support and can give you arch and heel pain. Be sensible and swap your shoes around, wearing trainers if you are out walking, and having a couple of pairs of sandals, ideally with straps, you can alternate is a good idea.
Changing rooms, gym showers, swimming pools, public toilets, and hotel bathrooms are breeding grounds for fungus and nasties. Try to avoid walking barefoot in such places to prevent picking up athlete’s foot and verrucas.
Feet can tell a lot about our overall health. For example, dry skin can be a sign of chronic fatigue and flaky toenails can be attributed to a deficiency in calcium or Vitamin B, so if you do have any major issues with your feet, speak to your GP for medical advice.