Sometimes it feels like hibernation wouldn’t be so bad. Sleep through the cold and cloying winter months and be fresh and ready for warmer weather!
Unfortunately, life doesn’t work that way. But as temperatures warm up, so does the excitement toward summer plans. Beaches, vacations, and big events are coming soon! Are your feet ready for them?
The condition of your feet may not seem like a big concern compared to tickets, travel, and other preparations. But taking care of some foot issues now can make your plans much more comfortable and enjoyable.
The bonus is that many of these methods feel pretty good, too; like getting your feet out of winter’s cave!
Here are a few elements to consider when it comes to summer foot prep.
Clearing Up Fungal Toenails
Let’s get one of the least fun items out of the way first. Are your toenails currently thick, discolored, brittle, and just plain not nice to look at?
Do not wait if you want treatment. Start now!
At Associates in Podiatry, we have the advanced Lunula Laser. This device is able to penetrate nail tissue and hit fungus right where it lives, killing it over a course of successive treatments. This laser is also cold, meaning it’s virtually painless and we’re one of only a handful of healthcare providers in New Jersey who offer this innovative treatment.
This laser may not be for every patient, and we might use other methods instead of or in conjunction with laser therapy. These may include topical ointments or oral anti-fungal medications. Options largely depend on your medical history and the severity of the fungal infection.
One thing is for certain, though: fungal nails do not immediately clear up! Even when the offending fungus has been completely eradicated, the damage left will remain until a new nail grows out and replaces it. That’s why time is of the essence if you wish to have your nails looking your best by summer.
General Nail Freshening
Even if your nails aren’t currently home to a fungal infection (and thank goodness if they’re not), you can still take steps to keep your toenails looking great before the sun truly starts hitting them.
Are your nails stained and dull from a history of polish? Try rubbing a lemon wedge against them for about a minute. Using a base coat on your nails will also help prevent future staining, especially if you’re a fan of the darker shades out there.
Additionally, make sure you are cutting your toenails correctly. Doing so not only keeps them looking good, but reduces your risk of painful and unsightly ingrown toenails.
Want to make sure you are trimming your nails in the best way? It’s pretty simple:
- First, make sure you’re using clippers designed for toenails. The smaller ones made for fingernails will make you take more snips across your larger toes, which makes jaggedness more likely.
- Clip your toenails straight across. Fight the temptation to round them off, as this increases the likelihood of ingrown toenails. Feel free to gently file sharp corners if you need to, though.
- Leave a bit of white edge on your nails. Clipping too close can cut into the nail bed itself, which not only hurts but increases your odds of ingrown toenails and
- If your toenails are tough to clip, try trimming after a shower. On the other hand, trim while dry if your toenails are too soft when wet.
Keeping Skin Beautiful and Smooth
Having healthy skin is more than an aesthetic matter. Keeping your feet soft and moisturized can help prevent painful cracks, as well as complications that can arise from calluses.
A good moisturizing habit can do wonders for your skin. Good times to apply some are after you are out of the shower (when your skin is softer) and right before bed (if you wear clean but old socks to bed to keep the moisture in). One thing you don’t want to do is keep moisture between your toes throughout the day, though. That can increase your risk of skin problems.
If you have calluses, a pumice stone can be a helpful tool in smoothing them out.
- Soak your feet in warm, soapy water for about 15-20 minutes to soften your feet (or a long shower can work, too).
- After drying your feet, wet the pumice stone and rub it gently, in slow circles, over the callus. Do not apply excess pressure or grind at your foot – you are likely to hurt yourself.
- After about two minutes of rubbing, wash off the pumice stone and place it somewhere it can dry. Apply moisturizer to your feet.
The point of a pumice stone is to take calluses down over time; not in one go. Be patient and gentle to your feet above all else, and do not use metal files or other harsh tools instead.
Invest in Good Sandals
Flip flops are bad for your feet, and cheap ones are even worse.
If you are looking for good open footwear, opt for supportive sandals made of natural materials. They should fit well (without your toes hanging over the edge) and provide good traction. Rubber sole are good for that.
Work Now, Play Later
Addressing any issues with your feet or ankles now—not just fungal toenails!—will help prevent problems from plaguing you when you’re trying to enjoy yourself. We can help you reach summer with your best feet forward!
We have two offices ready to serve you. Give us a call at either one:
- Princeton Office – (609) 924-8333
- Roselle Park Office – (908) 687-5757
You may also fill out our online contact form if you prefer to reach us electronically.