It’s summer time and not only is this the time to show off your bikini body, but also your beautiful feet. Licensed podiatrist and nail spa owner Margaret Dabbs shares her knowledge on how to put your best foot forward this season.
Wear comfortable shoes – Put on shoes that are lightweight and have a considerable amount of cushioning and shock absorption as you walk. It is also best to wear a different shoe type every day and not focus on just one. Wedge shoes and very high heels can do more harm for your feet, especially if worn for prolonged periods of time, as they put pressure on the toe joints and the ball of the foot. Doing so could sometimes cause corn and callus buildup. Meanwhile, mules or shoes that look like flip-flops do not offer support to the arch. Dabbs also remind women that if the shoe hurts, do not wear it.
Keep your foot clean and dry – Although sweating is a natural occurrence on the feet as you wear shoes, you need to make sure to keep feet from too much sweating to avoid bacteria build up and foot odor. Wearing socks or tights can soak excess sweat and keep the shoes dry. It is also advisable to walk around the home in bare feet.
Exfoliate your feet – Common foot problems during the summer include dehydrated skin and nails, cracked and calloused skin around the heel, and calluses on areas of the feet that bear the weight like the big toe. While we wear flip-flops during the summer, the constant slapping on the heel can harden the skin. Fight these problems by exfoliating your feet on a weekly basis.
File your feet while dry – Use foot files on dry skin, as doing so on wet feet is more prone to tearing and potential infection. Also, wet skin hides hard and calloused skin, making it more difficult to remove.
Do not sleep with socks on – While many foot-specific products insist users to wear socks while sleeping, doing so could restrict blood circulation. Also, putting socks over a product creates an environment for bacteria and sweat to build up.
Use foot-specific lotion – Not all lotions are created equal. Body lotion may not be designed for the thicker skin on the feet. Look for lotions that specifically cater to feet, such as products that contain emu oil
Wear leather shoes indoors before going out – Leather shoes tend to mold to the feet as you wear them. Wear new leather shoes indoors for several days. If they rub slightly around the heel, apply a thin layer of petroleum jelly along the inside to prevent your skin from wounding caused by friction.
Give your feet a polish break – Nail polishes can make the toenails and cuticle areas dry, making them prone to cracking and splitting. Also, prolonged use of dark polish can stain the nails. Dabb advises to use nail polishes that are free from solvents and chemicals, as well as staying away from nail lacquer every so often yet keeping them groomed and buffed.