Summertime in New Zealand means barefoot-on-the beach and jandals – and let’s face it, neglected feet and unkempt toes are not a pretty sight! Here are 6 simple steps to help get your feet looking great and feeling summer-ready!
- Give your feet a long soak in a tub of warm water and Epsom salts, and then get rid of any dry or cracked skin with a pumice stone. If cracked heels have become open wounds, they’ll probably need to be treated by a podiatrist – at Healthy Steps Podiatry, we can remove the hard skin along your heels, and dress any deep fissures. We can also give advice on an appropriate moisturiser to prevent recurrence, and we have a selection of podiatry-only Gewhol creams available that are specifically designed for this purpose.
- Remove any calluses by exfoliating with a pumice stone. Never try to remove calluses when the skin is dry – prime the with a foot soak first. Since a callus is just a buildup of dead skin cells formed from constant rubbing and friction, exfoliating regularly is key when it comes to prevention.
- Inspect your toenails for discolouration – which may indicate a fungal infection caused by sweating in boots and thick socks over the winter. If you do notice signs of a fungal infection, treat your feet with an anti-fungal medication, or soak them in a solution of tea-tree oil – it’s a great anti-fungal treatment.
- Trim your toe nails – make sure you cut them straight and not too short, and avoid leaving any sharp edges. Use an emery board to smooth and shape them.
- Moisturise your feet – and get into the habit of doing it every day, so they stay un-cracked, soft and looking healthy all through the long summer days.
- Now that your feet are all exfoliated and moisturised; and your toe nails are clipped and filed, get a cuticle stick and gently push back the cuticles, and get into the habit of doing this regularly too, to keep your toes healthy and looking good.
If you like to wear nail polish – now’s the time to apply it. Remember that nail polish and acetone tend to dry out your nails, which can lead to chipping, splitting and breaking. We suggest you give your toe nails a few days break in between removing and reapplying nail polish, and that you massage a good cuticle oil into the nails and cuticles after removal of the nail polish.