Summertime is here, and you have better things to do than spend it suffering from the pain and itching of athlete’s foot. Some simple steps can help you keep the fungal infection far away from your feet.
As the summer sandal season comes to a close, it’s time to think about cooler temperatures and a change in footwear. But before you slip on a pair of boots or fleece-lined clogs, give your feet some healthy pampering to get them ready for the change in weather.
Dry Air = Dry Feet
With fall comes lower humidity, and indoor heating. Many people find that their skin is drier this time of year, and feet are no exception. Heels are particularly susceptible to dryness, and can crack and split, causing pain when walking.
To avoid this problem, invest in a quality foot cream and apply it to heels and other dry spots after bathing. People with diabetes should pay close attention to their feet and make sure they apply a moisturizer as recommended by their podiatrist.
Some people find that regular petroleum jelly works fine for keeping feet soft, but you’ll likely want to put on socks afterward to avoid getting the floor (or your shoes) greasy. Don’t apply your moisturizer between the toes, however, as this can encourage fungal growth.
Try a Pumice Stone
If you spent a lot of time barefoot this summer, your feet may be responding with roughness and calluses. Sometimes a moisturizer isn’t enough to tackle this problem. Exfoliating with a pumice stone is a great way to remove dead and callused skin so the lotion or cream can penetrate more effectively.
Check Your Boots and Shoes
You likely have some fall and winter footwear that’s been pushed to the back of the closet all summer. Examine fall boots and shoes for signs of wear both inside and out. Try them on to ensure they still feel comfortable, don’t rub, and support your feet properly. If they don’t meet all these criteria, consider purchasing some new shoes.
Remove Nail Polish
Sure, you can still have polished toenails in the winter, but if you’ve had them painted all summer without a break, it’s time to remove that polish and examine them. Thick, yellow nails are often a sign of a fungal infection – which is easily picked up at places like public pools when you’re walking around barefoot. If you see a problem, don’t apply more polish. Instead, pick up an over-the-counter antifungal treatment and see your podiatrist if the problem doesn’t improve.
Avoid Overly Hot Footwear
Even in the cooler months, socks and shoes that don’t allow feet to breathe can be a problem. Warm, moist environments are perfect for fungus, and often cause unwanted foot odor. In addition, rainy fall weather can get your feet soggy, and you’ll need to allow adequate time for footwear to dry before wearing it again.
Choose natural wicking materials such as wool, and alternate shoes and boots so you have a dry pair to wear each day.
Healthy feet are always in season. If you have foot pain or another concern, contact the office of Dr. Jeffery Lamour to schedule your appointment!
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