It’s Sandal Season

Now that summer has arrived, it’s time for your feet to have their moment in the sun. But before you slip on a pair of flip-flops or sandals, you may want to do some basic maintenance and upkeep on your feet—a tune up, if you will.

Here is a step-by-step guide to help get your feet in fighting shape for summer. Repeat as needed throughout the summer.

  1. Soak your feet in warm water for 5 to 10 minutes to soften them. You can add Epsom salts or a few drops of your favorite essential oil to the water, if you’d like.
  2. Trim your toenails with a straight-edge toenail clipper. Trim your toenails straight across; don’t round the edges. This can help prevent ingrown toenails.
  3. Gently clean under and around your toenails. You can use a manicure stick or the tip of the file that is attached to your toenail clippers. Be careful not to press too hard. You don’t want to cut or pierce your skin.
  4. Lightly file your toenails with an emery board to smooth away rough edges. Don’t file down the edges—file straight across to prevent ingrown toenails.
  5. Use a pumice stone, scrub, or foot file to exfoliate. Rub gently to remove any dry skin and smooth away calluses.
  6. Moisturize your feet. It may help keep the soles of your feet from becoming dry and cracked.

While you are caring for your feet, check to see if you notice any problems. Here are things to look for:

  • Bent or misshapen toes
  • Discolored or misshapen toenails
  • Swelling, redness, or soreness in the joints of your toes
  • Blisters, warts, corns, or calluses
  • Itching, stinging, or burning in your feet or toes
  • Pain, redness, swelling, or bleeding near your toenails

If you notice any of these problems or others with your feet, talk with your doctor or podiatrist right away. He or she can determine the problem and discuss possible treatment options with you. And if you have diabetes or circulation problems, talk with your doctor or podiatrist about the best way to care for your feet.

With a little bit of care, your feet can look and feel their best. Then you can get outside and enjoy feeling the warm sun on your bare toes. Just don’t forget to apply sunscreen to your feet!