Heat, sun, sand and surf — the symbols of summer. However, your tootsies may not appreciate these elements as much as you do! From hairy toe woes to banishing blisters, here are some expert tips to get your feet sandal ready for your next poolside or beach event.
Be sweet to your feet
Splurge on a monthly pedicure by a reputable spa or salon as a summer treat for your feet. In between appointments, you can baby you can baby your feet with an at-home pedicure. Soaking and massaging your feet nightly will also help to keep them happy. Use a pumice stone to scrub away flaky skin and follow up with a wonderful moisturizer like Peppermint Cooling Foot Lotion (The Body Shop, $10) to keep feet feeling refreshed (and smelling great)!
Take a hike!
If you’ve been out walking or hiking, end the day by massaging your feet, soaking them in lukewarm water and keeping them elevated for 10 minutes to ease the stress on your circulatory system. Applying a soothing cream that’s been stored in the refrigerator, such as Plantogen Sole Repair Cream (Ariva, $24), to relieve dryness and soothe stressed, overworked feet. Massage it into clean feet after bathing.
New York podiatrist Dr. Oliver Zong says, “Take special care of toenails, which are especially vulnerable around damp areas. Injury to the nail bed may make it more susceptible to infection, so see your podiatrist at first sign of discoloration or infection.”
Say bye-bye to blisters
New sandals can often leave your feet with painful blisters. Ouch! You can keep your feet pain-free and still be able to wear your favorite summer shoes with a few preventative measures.
- Do a little prep work. Treat areas on your feet that are sensitive to blisters before they happen. Over-the-counter moleskin or blister pads are helpful to protect and prevent irritation.
- Try a product like Bodyglide Anti Blister and Chafing Stick (SwimOutlet, $6) to avoid the friction that leads to blisters.
- Don’t pop blisters! If you do get a blister or two, don’t be tempted to pop them.The blister and the fluid inside act as natural sterile dressings for the wound. Apply a protective bandage to protect the blister or try a blister healing cushion.
Summer is time for fun in the sun, and unfortunately it’s also prime season for athlete’s foot. To keep your feet fungus-free, follow these tips:
- Keep your feet dry and clean. Athlete’s foot thrives in moist, damp places. Apply a topical antifungal medication on any cracking or peeling of the skin.
- Wear socks that are made of an acrylic fiber, not cotton (acrylic wicks moisture away from the feet), and change your socks at least once a day.
- Put antiperspirant on your feet. The active ingredient, aluminum hydroxide, keeps your feet from sweating.
Get rid of unwanted toe fuzz
You’ve got it and you know you don’t want it — it’s toe hair! Have you already tried plucking, or even waxing? Laser hair removal is a great way to get rid of unwanted toe hair once and for all.
According to NJ and NYC board-certified cosmetic surgeon, Dr. Steve Fallek, “Lasers produce highly focused, intense beams of light that are absorbed by dark pigments in the hair follicles beneath the skin’s surface and converted to heat, destroying the follicles and preventing hair growth.”
Treatments are needle-free and anesthesia-free, with most patients feeling nothing more than a slight sting, like the snap of a rubber band.
When it comes to sun protection, don’t forget your feet! Apply sunscreen all over your feet — especially the tops and in between toes — 20 to 30 minutes before going outdoors.