Here in the Arizona desert our sandal season FAR outweighs our non-sandal season. Since it’s almost time to break out those summer shoes, we thought we might give you some pointers on dry skin and good foot care. It’s important to make sure those feet are “sandal ready” and in tip-top shape.
One of the biggest concerns for many people is keeping their feet looking and feeling nice. Since we spend so much time in sandals here, it’s no wonder why! Dry skin can really take a toll on your feet in both appearance and comfort. Taking great care of your skin and toenails can help your feet look great in every pair of sandals.
Dry, Cracked Skin
If you have dry, cracked skin, now is the time to begin treatment. The first thing to do is to figure out the underlying cause. Dry skin can be caused by long exposure to hot water, certain skin conditions (such as eczema), cold or dry weather, low humidity, and aging. If you can easily fix the problem, for instance, by taking shorter baths, then do so. If that doesn’t work, there are other treatment options available.
If you have dry skin, you want to treat it quickly and effectively before it starts to crack. Once it becomes cracked, it opens a gateway to infection, which can be a nasty thing to treat. You can apply lotion to your feet, but beware of hidden ingredients. Many lotions contain alcohol, which can lead to even more dryness. Baby lotion is a safe bet when it comes to moisturizing. In the bath or shower, make sure to use moisturizing soaps since many soaps can have a drying effect on the skin. Also remember the importance of hydrating your skin from within. You can do this by drinking plenty of water and eating your fruits and veggies. There are home remedies you can try as well (olive oil treatments, sugar scrubs, Vaseline, soaking your feet in lemon juice), but make sure you talk things over with your doctor first.
Ingrown toenails can keep your feet from feeling their best. Ingrown toenails can cause redness, swelling even pus around the toenails. In order to prevent painful and unsightly ingrown toenails, be sure to properly cut your toenails. Make sure to cut your toenails straight across. Do not dig into the sides of the skin and make sure your shoes have a wide enough toebox to give your toes space. If you notice any redness or pain, be sure to visit a podiatrist.
Athletes foot is another common foot problem that can make wearing sandals difficult. Athlete's foot is a fungal infection of the skin. It can cause feet to become itchy, scaly, peeling or inflamed. Preventing Athlete's foot can include keeping your feet clean and dry, changing socks when they are wet and wearing shoes in public places such as locker rooms and public pools.
Treating Athlete's foot can include over the counter creams and oral medication in severe cases. If your Athlete's foot is not improving or if it is causing you pain, visit your podiatrist.
Toenail fungus can cause yellow, brittle, chipped and discolored toenails. This can be a difficult and frustrating condition to treat. Fortunately, our Arizona podiatry team are experts in treating toenail fungus. Treatment can include oral medications, topical medications and laser therapy. You can work to prevent toenail fungus by keeping your toenails clean, changing your socks as needed and wearing protection when walking in barefoot in public places.