1. Soak Your Feet Regularly
Take a bath or soak your feet in a large bowl with warm water for 10 to 15 minutes to help soften the skin. You can also add a few drops of tea tree oil or Epsom salts. Epsom salts will help relax the nervous system, ease muscle strain and draw toxins from the body. Not only will a foot soak help relax your feet, hydrate your skin and relieve pain due to standing or walking for hours, it will also soften skin, making it easier to exfoliate.
When feet are not properly moisturized, dry skin cells will begin to build up. After soaking your feet to soften the skin, exfoliate with a pumice stone (a natural lava stone) in warm water to remove dead skin and calluses. Apply light pressure while moving the stone in a circular motion across the skin, especially over the heels. Foot scrubs or exfoliating creams can also be used to gently get rid of dead skin cells between your toes.
3. Trim & File Toenails
Keep your toenails short. They are thicker and more brittle than fingernails, so soaking your feet before trimming your toenails will make the job easier and help prevent them from splitting. Try to clip the nails straight across to avoid painful ingrown nails, and gently file the corners to round sharp edges. Let your nails breathe. Consider taking a break from nail polish every now and then, so your nails don’t get too dry and discolored. When using polish, be sure to apply a clear base coat before pigmented polishes to keep them from staining the nail.
Hand creams are not necessarily formulated to meet the specific needs of your feet. Moisturize regularly with a product specifically made for foot care. Pay particular attention to the heel and ball areas of your foot.
Summertime is the time to enjoy sandals and bare feet in the sand! If you experience problems with your toenails and/or the skin on your feet (i.e. cracked skin, nail fungus, athlete’s foot), the skin care professionals at Warrenton Dermatology & Skin Therapy Center are here to help you. Call 540-341-1900 to schedule an appointment.