Don't Be Afraid to Show Your Feet This Summer: Get Your Feet Looking Great!
Spring is well and truly here and summer is not far away!
As the weather improves and the mercury rises our feet come out of hibernation and into the sunshine!
If you are anything like most people, your feet have been hidden away in socks and boots all winter, and spring can be a bit daunting when it comes to your feet.
As we pull our summer favourites out of the wardrobe, out too come pretty strappy sandals and open toed pumps.
Are you embarrassed to get your feet out due to unsightly nails, hard or dry skin?
Now is the time to get them sorted prior to the party season so you can step out with your best foot forward.
Are your nails discoloured or thickened?
Are they crumbling and looking more like claws?
The health and appearance of our nails can be effected by a number of factors. Lack of sunshine, excessive use of nail polish or shellac, and fungal infections or trauma.
- Discoloration – this can be caused by a variety of reasons and can range from white and powdery to yellow or brown and very hard.
The discoloration may simply be due to excessive use of nail polish causing a chemical build up on the surface of the nail.
This can usually be buffed away.
Avoiding nail polish for long periods and giving your nails a break over the winter months will help to stop this.
The discoloration may also be the start of a fungal infection.
If the nail has changed not just its appearance but also its texture you may have onychomycosis or a fungal infection to the nail plate.
There may be just one, a few or all of the nails infected.
This presents in a variety of different ways and your Podiatrist can advise you on the best method of treatment for your particular case.
This can range from natural alternatives, over the counter anti-fungal tinctures (paints) or oral medication.
- Thickened nails – Again this can be caused by a few different issues but trauma and fungal infections are at the top of the list.
If there is no sign of any fungal infection (see signs above) you can try to reduce the thickness by filing with an emery board.
If this doesn’t help you achieve the results you want a Podiatrist can use a professional burr to reduce the thickness and smooth the nail surface.
- Hard skin? Corns, Callous? – Our body’s natural way of coping with excess stress on the skin is to build up hard skin or callous.
If this occurs in a concentrated area, a corn can develop which has a hard nucleus in the centre.
In some cases these can become not only unsightly but quite painful.
The best treatment for corns and callous involves regular application of moisturisers and filing to reduce the thickened skin.
This is best done with an emery board when the skin is soft after a shower.
Avoid any metal files as these can do more damage than good! Stick to options that look like stone or sand paper.
If you are finding it difficult to remove the callous or suffer from stubborn corns I suggest a routine treatment with a Podiatrist to give you smooth healthy skin.
- Dry flaky skin? – During winter our skin is likely to dry out due to constant temperature changes going from heated to cold environments.
We are also less likely to moisturise our skin during the cold months as we are all covered up most of the time and less aware of the state of our skin.
Moisturise your feet (particularly the heels) with a specialised heel balm and you should see results within a few days.
If there are any little red dots or rash associated with the dry skin you may have a tinea infection that will require anti-fungal creams rather than just moisturisers.
If there is a lot of hard skin in the area, removing the thickened skin first will help the moisturisers to penetrate into the deeper layers of skin.
If you are having difficulty filing away the hard skin your Podiatrist can do this safely and effectively for you.
Now is the perfect time to create a great foot care routine and get your feet looking fantastic for Summer.
Put your best foot forward this Summer!
Written by Leah Waters