Take it easy this Labor Day! After all that hard work, you deserve to put your feet up and pamper them a little. To keep your feet happy and healthy you’ll need more than a pedicure. Try putting these practices into place on a regular basis, starting today. Soon, you’ll be showing off freshly pampered feet well into fall! If you need extra assistance, don’t hesitate to contact the professionals at Progressive Podiatry. But, at home, you can start by:
Cleaning & Moisturizing
We’re all guilty of not giving our feet enough attention in the shower. To really clean those tired soles, let them soak in hot soapy water for 5 to 10 minutes. Although some people prefer luxurious foot soaps and salts, any liquid soap should do the trick. Pick something gentle if you have sensitive skin, though.
As an extra step, you can then scrub and exfoliate your feet, simply by adding granular sugar to your favorite moisturizer. Avoid rubbing too hard around irritated areas. Especially places where blisters, calluses, and/or corns often appear. If you struggle with pain/irritation from one of these conditions, contact the professionals at Progressive Podiatry. We’ll be able to treat the underlying issues, as well as remove any unsightly foot problems in a sterile environment.
But moisturizing is something you can easily do at home! Use an extra hydrating formula, or one created specifically for feet, and massage it into the top and bottom of each foot. If you do this after every shower, you might be able to soothe dry, cracked skin around your heel and cuticles. Just remember that if it persists, it may be a sign of infection. So, don’t wait too long to make an appointment with your podiatrist.
Trimming Your Toenails & Letting Them Breathe
If you’ve had toenail polish on all summer long, now’s the time to take it off! And let your feet really breathe. Those colors may be pretty, but they also block light. Creating a more favorable environment for common foot fungus. As you remove the latest layer, be sure you swab even those hard-to-reach places with an effective (yet gentle) nail polish remover. Then, check for signs of potential fungus, including yellowing toenails, white or yellow spots below the nail, and noticeable thickening. If you suspect foot fungus is present, call either of our conveniently located offices for a professional evaluation.
Now, it’s time for a good trimming! Ideally, you’ve been keeping up with this particular pampering once or twice a week. Since letting your nails grow too long can lead to ingrown toenails and other complications. We also recommend cutting your toenails straight across and avoiding cutting the corners too deep. Because this can also encourage ingrown nails later on. You can give them a slightly round shape, if you prefer. Just don’t forget to sanitize your nail clippers and other tools. This is how fungal infections spread quickly in nail salons. Which is why we encourage at-home pampering rather than professional pedicures.
Wearing More Practical Shoes
Well, you had to know this was coming. While literally putting your feet up this Labor Day will give them a break. You can continue to be comfortable, even when you’re back at work, by choosing the right shoes. During the summer flip flops are always popular, but they provide virtually no arch support. The same can be said of most flats, so be careful about wearing them too often as we head into fall.
Heels are even more problematic, as they interfere with your balance and often cause corns, calluses, and even neuropathy in the long run. Now that temperatures are cooling down (slightly), you can wear protective shoes that are on trend. Sneaker and a pair (or two) of supportive boots will keep your feet happy and healthy! At Progressive Podiatry, we can even create custom orthotics for ultimate comfort, while they work to treat more serious foot issues.
We hope you have a wonderful, relaxing Labor Day! If you notice anything unusual as you’re pampering your feet this holiday, please let us know. We’d be happy to take a look at your hard-working soles and suggest some extra steps for at-home footcare.