Doctor’s Orders: Tips For Keeping Feet Looking Healthy This Summer

Summertime, and the living is easy. However, the warm weather can mean a lot of wear and tear on the feet as sandals become the footwear of choice.

New York podiatrist Dr. Jackie Sutera, who also serves as spokeswoman for the American Podiatric Medical Association and Vionic Innovation Lab expert, has some tips for keeping feet healthy as summer approaches.

1. Skin and nails need to be healthy before heading off for a pedicure.

“The big mistake women make is waiting all winter before they look at their feet,” said Dr. Sutera. Since dry skin can actually be a foot condition such as eczema or psoriasis, women with these issues can be more vulnerable to picking up bacteria and viruses living in the salon.

2. Don’t shave legs the day before or day of getting a pedicure.

“This can cause micro tears in the leg,” said Dr. Sutera. The water used in salons can have traces of bacteria, which can cause bacterial infections of the leg.

3. Let nails breathe between polish changes.

“It’s important to take a break for a day or two,” she recommends. Don’t let polish remain on toenails for six weeks, slowing chipping off. Instead, remove it completely with a polish remover. “Nails don’t breathe well, and you can end up with stains or white lines as they become dry and dehydrated.”

4. Try to find sandals and flip-flops with ample support and cushioning for standing and walking.

Avoid the $3 variety meant for the beach or pool for everyday wear. “After a summer wearing them,” said Dr. Sutera, “you can have tendonitits or facsciitis, inflammation and foot pain.”

5. Keep the inside of your shoes healthy.

To keep the environment inside a closed shoe in control, sprinkle some household baking soda directly on the foot or inside the shoe to absorb moisture. Or, said Dr. Sutera, “You can spray your own underarm deodorant or antiperspirant on your toes.”

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