16 Jun 2023 • 9 min read
Sandal season is here! But – like most of us – you might have some TLC to do before your feet see the light.
It’s not just about looking good; taking care of your feet can help prevent some nasty skin concerns.
Strip off the winter socks and follow our guide...
Dry skin happens to the best of us! If you’ve been hiding your feet in thick socks and boots through winter, they may need a refresh.
Before taking a bath or shower, use a pumice stone or a foot file to gently buff away dry skin. Once or twice weekly, for about 2-3 minutes, should be fine. ¹
Don’t overdo it, though – tone it down if you’re looking red or feeling sensitive.
Not only will this help your feet look and feel smooth and shiny, but it’ll decrease your chances of them cracking (which increases your chance of infection).
After taking a bath or shower every day, dry off and apply a thick moisturising cream to your feet.
Don’t apply cream between your toes, though, as you’re already prone to moisture here.
For extremely dry skin, you can thickly apply petroleum jelly, wrap cling film over the feet, and pop a pair of socks on while you go to bed. ²
If you’re not a fan of socks while you sleep, try doing this while you work... preferably from home.
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If you’ve ever had an ingrown nail, you’ll know that you don’t want one again.
Trim your toenails regularly with nail scissors or clippers, cutting straight across (not down into the corners). Gently file any rough edges.
If you like to paint your nails, now’s your chance for a new colour!
Thoroughly remove any old nail varnish before applying a new one.
We shouldn’t have to suffer to look good.
It’s fine to pick a more precarious pair for special occasions, but day-to-day you should wear shoes that fit well and provide plenty of support to your feet. Ideally, you shouldn’t need to scrunch your toes or make an effort to keep them on.
New shoes might take a while to wear in, but say goodbye to any that give you pain or blisters all the time.
After letting our feet hibernate for the winter, we could be at risk of conditions like:
A common fungal infection that can cause itchy, red skin, small blisters, and white soggy patches between the toes. ³ ⁴ It’s contagious, so you’re more at risk if you use communal areas where people are often barefoot, like changing areas.
You can also develop it if you sweat heavily and wear tight, enclosed shoes. Consider a foot deodorant to help keep sweat under control.
You can use treatments, like liquids and sprays, to help relieve symptoms of athlete’s foot. It’s important to keep your feet clean and dry and wear clean socks every day to help prevent the infection from coming back.
These are wart-like bumps that develop on the toes and the soles of the feet. They’re not usually dangerous, but they’re contagious and can be painful.
Cover your verruca with a plaster or verruca sock if you’re walking around barefoot or swimming. You can use a cream or spray from the pharmacy to help get rid of it.
However, they may not always work; speak to your pharmacist if you’re having trouble getting rid of a verruca. ⁵
Warts aren’t usually dangerous or painful, but they are contagious.
Again, you can buy treatments over the counter to help “freeze” or get rid of your wart. If they don’t work or they irritate your skin, speak to a pharmacist for alternative options. ⁵
In the meantime, avoid sharing towels or walking around barefoot to prevent spreading the wart.
These can be very painful and leave your toe feeling very sensitive and swollen. It’s also possible for an ingrown nail to get infected.
If you’ve got an ingrown toenail, soak your foot regularly in warm salty water. Dry off your foot and wear wide, comfortable shoes. ⁶ Do not cut the nail; leave it to grow out.
If your toenail is badly ingrown, you might be eligible for treatment from a podiatrist (foot specialist).
Speak to your GP if you think the nail has become infected or if you develop a high temperature.
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Feeling better about going barefoot?
We hope so – and if you’re heading somewhere sunny, why not check out some of our other summer guides?