During the other nine months of the year, your feet are concealed in work shoes, sneakers for the gym, boots for bad weather, and maybe even socks or slippers around the house. But when summer rolls around (or if you live in year-round warm climate), your toes long to see some sunshine – either in your flip flops, or sandals, or just ‘au naturel.’ No one, however, wants to peel off their socks and reveal revolting feet. So do a little maintenance first.
Toenails – should be clipped short, no longer than to the end of each toe, but ideally only a thin line of white should be seen over the pink portion of each nail. Clip straight across with a sharp toenail clipper. Do not clip into corners or edges as this can cause ingrown toenails.
NOTE: Toenail fungus should not be overlooked. In early stages, nail will appear chalky and white and may break or chip easily. As the fungus progresses, it will infect other toes and the nail may turn black or fall off. A good home remedy is Vicks Vaporub massaged into the nail bed right at the cuticle. Slather it on liberally and cover with a bandage to keep constant contact with the nail and prevent smearing on carpets or furniture. Over-the-counter treatments are also available for this issue, but your doctor may be able to recommend laser therapy, prescription medications if the case is severe enough. Whichever method you choose, continue using until all signs of fungus have grown out. Be sure to clip away infected nail as new nail grows in. Keep toes exposed to light and air as much as possible to prevent fungus from recurring.
Feet – should be free of major callouses, warts, or other skin issues like athlete’s foot. Begin by resolving any problems with over-the-counter creams or sprays (Tinactin or Lotrimin), or treatment from a doctor (wart removal for example). Then, soak feet in warm water to soften skin and then use a rasp or a pumice block to rub away dead, hardened, unattractive skin. Particularly rough feet may need a cuticle or callous-removing cream. Cracked heels or dry feet can benefit from a thick lotion or a moisture-rich diaper cream rubbed into the affected area.