Prep Your Feet for Sandal Season

At the first hint of warmer spring weather, most of us rummage through our closets looking for our favorite pair of sandals.

But are your feet ready for footwear that bares all? The combination of winter’s extra-dry environment and wearing heavy shoes, boots and socks can result in excessively dry skin, calluses and even fungal infections. Usually these problems don’t disappear on their own.

Take a little time in the next few days to do complete foot check and plan to pamper your feet to get them looking and feeling their best. Here’s how:

  • Clean and exfoliate the skin. Soak your feet in warm, soapy water or soothing Epsom salts. Use a pumice stone or salt-based foot scrub to smooth rough patches and thin down calluses.
  • Moisturize. After washing, smooth on a rich, emollient moisturizer designed specifically for foot care. For maximum absorption, apply at night and wear cotton socks to bed.
  • Clean your nails. After soaking the feet, apply the pointed end of a clean cuticle stick to cuticle edges and gently push away any excess. Use a soapy nailbrush to scrub underneath the nails and dab on cuticle oil after drying for protection.
  • Trim toenails correctly. Cut square across the top – not rounded – to prevent ingrown toenails.
  • Polish. A base coat will help protect the nail. Apply polish, then finish with a clear protective coat.
  • Remove unwanted hair. Waxing strips work best for this job.
  • Sandals. If last year’s sandals are looking tired, especially if the sole displays uneven wearing or is worn thin, treat yourself to a new pair. Your feet will love a sturdy style that provides good support.

Do you notice any signs of fungal infection? You may see toenails that are thickening, brittle or discolored, or the nail may even be coming loose from the nail bed. Over-the-counter products may work temporarily but won’t kill the underlying fungus.

For persistent fungal nails, visit Stavros O. Alexopoulos, DPM for relief. We’ll prescribe oral and/or topical medications to get rid of the fungus. In extreme cases, debridement or even removal of the nail may be necessary.

We Can Help with Any Foot and Ankle Problem

Whether toenail fungus or foot or ankle pain, Dr. Alexopoulos, board certified podiatrist can help resolve your discomfort. You can reach us at our Chicago office by calling (773) 561-8100 or request an appointment via the website. Step out in style this spring with feet that are both healthy and attractive!