Healthcare News

Helpful Hints To Get Your Feet Ready For The Summer Season

May 05, 2017

A winter of wearing tight-fitting shoes or boots can wreak havoc on your feet and make you think twice before putting on scanty sandals or going barefoot.

"Unlike the rest of the body, people seem to neglect their feet throughout most of the year and, therefore, can encounter a host of problems that become compounded once the summer arrives," says Dr. Giuseppe Militello, assistant attending dermatologist at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center.

Here is Dr. Militello's prescription for preparing your tired treads for summer fashion:

- Treat corns and calluses. These hard, thickened areas of skin can be treated with warm soaks and sloughed off with a pumice stone. Corns can be removed by a podiatrist. Avoid over-the-counter treatments that contain acid, as they can burn skin or cause ulcers.

- Don't forget cracked heels. These may be prone to infection. A daily moisturizer is recommended.

- Watch out for ingrown toenails. First, soak your feet in warm water with Epsom salts. Then gently push the skin away from the nail with a moist washcloth or towel, apply antibiotic ointment, and cover with a bandage. If the ingrown toenail persists, or if it is too painful to treat yourself, consult your dermatologist. To avoid ingrown nails, try to cut the nail straight across instead of curving the edges.

- Athlete's foot is easily treated. To avoid developing athlete's foot in the first place, do not go barefoot in public areas. Wear rubber sandals in wet places and dry your feet thoroughly -- especially between the toes -- after you shower. An over the counter medicated powder can help keep your feet dry. An over-the-counter anti-fungal cream is effective in treating athlete's foot, but, if it does not improve, consult your dermatologist.

- If you suspect the possibility of toenail fungus it is reasonable to try a topical antifungal preparation for a few weeks. If there is no response, it is advisable to contact your dermatologist to confirm the diagnosis of a fungus infection or other possible nail disorders.

Dr. Militello offers these tips to maintain healthy-looking feet all year round:

- Keep your feet dry and use a moisturizer daily to keep skin soft.

- Wear shoes that are well-cushioned, substantially soled and comfortable.

NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center