Summer is right around the corner. As the weather gets warmer, it's time for you to break out those peep toes, sandals and flip flops. But after the past cold months, you can't help but feel self-conscious about your feet. You're nowhere near sandal-ready.
We asked Dr. Adriana Karpati, Summer Soles' resident board-certified podiatrist, for some pretty-feet advice, so you can bare toes with confidence:
Exfoliate dead skin and get rid of the calluses of winter
Cell turnover occurs constantly in the body to produce new skin cells. These new cells are made in the deeper layers of your skin. The process of "pushing" the new skin to the surface causes the older skin to exfoliate.
With the dryness of our feet during the winter, sometimes this shedding process just does not happen quick enough! A salt scrub and a good old-fashioned pumice stone will do the trick! The best place to do this is in the shower.
Dr. Karpati recommends Jericho's Relaxing Salt Scrub for your exfoliating routine.
Clean your toe nails
We tend to ignore the grime that builds up under the nail when toes are cold as we try to keep them bundled up. Fungus can work its way under the nail and onto the nailbed giving you nail fungus! Keeping the nails clean is essential in overall foot health.
When cleaning under the nail, use the clean pointed end of a cuticle stick. Gently work out the debris. Then, scrub under your nails with a sudsy nail brush.
Use the blunt end of the cuticle stick covered with a thin towel to massage the cuticle down. Dry them well, and apply cuticle oil all over your nails.
Beware of fungal infections
Dermatophytes is a general term being used to represent a group of fungi that most commonly cause fungal skin infections. Within that group, "tinea pedis" is responsible for athlete's foot and "trichophyton rubrum" is responsible for most of the nail fungus (a.k.a. onychomycosis). There is also fungus "amongus"—and once that takes hold, it feeds off of the dead skin cells.
In athlete's foot, this leads to irritation of the skin, which means more scratching and more shedding! In fungal nails, the buildup of fungus and debris under the nail causes nail discoloration, thickening and in some cases, loosening of the nail from the underlying nailbed.
Treat athlete's foot with the lamisil cream for one full month and wear protective shoe gear around pools, gyms and locker rooms. Don't forget to dry your feet well after bathing, and spray your shoes and sandals with an anti-fungal spray regularly to avoid a recurrence.
Nail fungus is much more difficult to get rid of. The most effective way to treat nail fungus is with a prescription oral anti-fungal. Most of the topical over-the-counter remedies out there like Clearly Confident's fungus treatments can improve the appearance of the nail, but will not kill the fungus under the nail. Spend your money wisely towards a prescription written by your podiatrist.