Spring is right around the corner! It’s that time of year when boots and closed-toed shoes go into hibernation and the feet get their first peek at the new season. To some, unveiling the feet after a long cold winter stuck inside of heavy socks and shoes , is a little daunting. Whether it’s dry, flaky skin from lack of moisture, discolored toenails, or pesky corns and calluses, the feet can suffer from being cooped up during the winter months. Luckily, a little pre -debut pampering can go a long way and may be just what the doctor ordered.
To get the season started off on the right foot, the American Podiatric Medical Association recommends the following ten do-it-yourself tips that will help you confidently slip your feet into the hottest sandal styles of the season.
1. Soak the feet with warm water for at least 10 minutes. Footnote: APMA recommends adding Epson salt, herbal soaks or oils for additional relaxation.
2. Remove thickened, dead skin build up (also known as calluses) around the pre-soaked heels, balls and sides of the feet with a pumice stone or foot file. Footnote: APMA advises not using a razor because it removes too much skin and can easily cause infection or permanent damage to the skin if used incorrectly.
3. Use an exfoliating scrub on the soles, sides and tops of the feet to eliminate dry, flaky winter skin. Footnote: Try Pedinol’s Hydrisalic Gel, which holds the APMA Seal of Approval.
4. Apply and massage a healthy amount of emollient-enriched skin lotion all over your feet to hydrate the skin and increase circulation. Footnote: Remove any excess moisturizer from the toenails and in between toes as this can be a bastion for bacteria. Try AmLactin moisturizing cream, which holds the APMA Seal of Approval.
5. Clip toenails with a straight edge toenail clipper to just above the top of each toe to ensure nails do not become curved or rounded in the corners. Footnote: Try using Sole Savior’s SOS Safe Salon PedicureKit, which holds the APMA Seal of Acceptance.
6. Before bed, very lightly wrap cellophane around your entire foot. The cellophane will act as a makeshift sauna by locking in moisture.
7. Apply nail polish to the toenails only if the nail is healthy. Remove polish regularly to let the nail bed breathe.
8. Practice good foot hygiene, including daily washing of the feet with soap and water, drying feet carefully, particularly between the toes.
9. If any skin or nail conditions exist, see a podiatrist for a medical diagnosis.
10. Inspect your sandals or flip-flops from the previous year. Discard any that appear too worn.Article reprinted with permission from the American Podiatric Medical Association. For more information visit www.apma.org or www.todayspodiatrist.com.