Thursday, March 22, 2012

Goodbye Winter Feet!

Spring is right around the corner! It's that time of year when boots and closed-toed shoes go into hibernation and the feet get their first peek at the new season. To some, unveiling the feet after a long cold winter stuck inside of heavy socks and shoes, is a little daunting. Whether it's dry, flaky skin from lack of moisture, discolored toenails, or pesky corns and calluses, the feet can suffer from being cooped up during the winter months. Luckily, a little predebut pampering can go a long way and may be just what the doctor ordered. "Pampering the feet promotes good hygiene and will alert you to any problem areas that may need treatment from a podiatrist before slipping into sandals this spring," says Dr. Craig Kaufman, DPM.
To get the season started off on the right foot, the American Podiatric Medical Association recommends the following ten do-it-yourself tips that will help you confidently slip your feet into the hottest sandal styles of the season. 
1. Soak the feet with warm water for at least 10 minutes. Add Epson salts, herbal soaks, or oils for additional relaxation. 
2. Remove thickened, dead skin build-up (also known as calluses) around the presoaked heels, balls, and sides of the feet with a pumice stone or foot file. Do not use a razor because it removes too much skin and can easily cause infection or permanent damage to the skin if used incorrectly. 
3. Use an exfoliating scrub on the soles, sides, and tops of the feet to eliminate dry, flaky, winter skin. 
4.  Apply and massage a healthy amount of emollient-enriched skin lotion all over your feet to hydrate the skin and increase circulation. Remove any excess moisturizer from the toenails and in between toes as this can be a bastion for bacteria.
5. Clip toenails with a straight edge toenail clipper to just above the top of each toe to ensure nails do not become curved or rounded in the corners. 
6. Before bed, very lightly wrap cellophane around your entire foot. The cellophane will act as a makeshift sauna by locking in moisture. 
7. Apply nail polish to the toenails only if the nail is healthy. Remove polish regularly to let the nail bed breathe.
8. Practice good foot hygiene, including daily washing of the feet with soap and water, drying feet carefully, particularly between the toes. 
9. If any skin or nail conditions exist, see a podiatrist for a medical diagnosis.
10. Inspect your sandals or flip-flops from the previous year. Discard any that appear too worn. 
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Podiatrists in CT
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