When winter is nearing peak and you possess no plans to have your feet put in anything other than a deep, warm pair of boots, thoughts of having your feet ready for summer may be the farthest thing from your mind.
Sandals? The wind chill is 2 degrees and you want to talk about sandals?!
We know it doesn’t sound very sensible—and maybe even a bit tortuous—but the truth is that preparing your feet for your summer getaway or other big events will need to start now for some situations. Delay now and you might not be as beach-ready as you want to be!
What are we talking about? Let’s start with The Big One:
Treat Fungal Toenails Now!
If you have a fungal infection, it has likely had a good amount of time to set up shop and make a crumbly, discolored mess of your nails.
Fungus can be very stubborn to remove, but there is hope in treatment. We offer the Noveon NaiLaser, a dual-wave system that has shown effective results in many cases. This system was created specifically for fighting toenail fungus, as opposed to more “jack of all trades” lasers. Sessions take less than 30 minutes, are completely painless, and you can get on with your day with no problems as soon as you are finished!
But even the biggest, baddest, most miraculous treatment for fungal nails is going to take one thing: time.
Laser treatment will be scheduled out over multiple sessions, and it may take several weeks to begin seeing results. Other treatments, such as topical and oral, can take a similar amount of time or longer. That’s just the nature of the beast: fungus can thrive deep within the nail, and treatments often must get at it in layers over time.
Even when the fungus infecting a toenail is completely eradicated, it does not mean you’re free and clear. While the fungus is gone, the damage it left will remain. The battlefield doesn’t immediately recover after a war.
As your toenail grows, it will gradually push out the damaged tissue before it and replace it with clear, new nail. The bad news is that toenails don’t grow that quickly—only about a couple millimeters per month! There may be more we can do to make damaged nails look better, but time will be the ultimate influencer in your recovery.
So, if you have fungal nails and want them cleared up by summer, absolutely do not wait to start treatment. The sooner you can begin taking care of your nails, the better your odds of them being clear and ready to go in summer.
Combat Dryness Year-Round
Dry winter air can really wreak havoc on some feet, causing dryness and cracking. If you are seeking soft, supple feet for summer, it is best to address dryness now and through spring as well. If you wait until spring to address the ravages of winter, it’s going to be a rougher time—literally.
Moisturizing is the natural key here. Look for moisturizers that contain salicylic acid, lactic acid, or urea. All of these ingredients are effective not only for treating dryness and itching, but softening the skin as well.
If a moisturizer contains extra ingredients you like such as coconut oil, shea butter, or beeswax, then feel free to run with them! Just be mindful of how your feet react to a moisturizer and stop using it if it starts causing you any redness or irritation.
There are two prime times for moisturizing: when you get out of the shower (when your feet are softened and more receptive to moisture) and just before bed (when your feet don’t have anything to do for the next 5-8 hours).
After applying moisturizer at night, put on a pair of old cotton socks. This will help lock the moisture in while keeping your sheets from getting messed up by lotion or cream.
Keeping up a good moisturizing routine throughout the year will keep your feet looking fantastic at any time. There are a couple caveats, however:
- If you live with diabetes, consult us before starting any sort of moisturizing plan.
- Keep excess moisture from pooling between your toes. Moisture that gets trapped in those areas can become a breeding ground for unwanted organisms.
Head off Ingrown Nails at the Pass
An ingrown toenail can really throw a wrench into your summer sandal look. Nothing better than a red, swollen side of your toe for a focal point!
Reduce your risk of ingrown toenails by trimming your nails properly. Trim straight across, avoiding a curve as much as possible. Leave them slightly long, with a bit of white at the edges. Cutting too close can damage the nail, causing it to grow incorrectly. (It can also hurt!)
You might want to consider filing the edges of your toenails slightly if they are sharp, but don’t go crazy with it.
In some cases, the way you trim your toenails isn’t the cause of them becoming ingrown. The reasons may be related to your footwear or heredity instead. If you keep getting ingrown toenails no matter what you do, come see us. We can get to the root of the problem and figure out the best ways to manage it.
Foot Care for Any Time of Year
Summer might still feel light years away at some points, but steps to care of your feet now will be rewarding once the sun is out!
There is almost never a reason to wait on receiving the foot and ankle care you need. Associates in Podiatry is here any time of year to provide expert advice and treatment. Schedule an appointment by calling our Princeton office at (609) 924-8333 or our Roselle Park office at (908) 687-5757.