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Keeping Feet Healthy When The Sandals Come Off

8/10/2016, 12:50 p.m. | Updated on 8/10/2016, 12:50 p.m.
When cool air or rainy weather hits us, our feet often slip from open-toed sandals into athletic and dress shoes ...
Sneakers and socks can trap moisture by the skin, causing infections

Keeping Feet Healthy When The Sandals Come Off

When cool air or rainy weather hits us, our feet often slip from open-toed sandals into athletic and dress shoes and, as a result, are forgotten. But “out of sight, out of mind” should never apply to toes or heels.

Socks can trap moisture near the skin, which can lead to fungal infections, like athlete’s foot. Cooler air can aggravate sensitive soles, causing dry heels and painful, cracked skin. Exposure to cold and humidity can cause acral ulcers or chilblains, an itchy, painful condition, or frostbite.

To keep feet sandal-worthy through the year: - Recognize fungal infections. Many people think that athlete’s foot always presents as cracking, blistering skin between the toes. But athlete’s foot can also cause peeling, dry, flaky or bubbling skin on heels or arches. Treat athlete’s foot with topical ointments, like Lotrimin. Tinactin, an anti-fungal spray, can help disinfect shoes.

  • Take time to relax your feet. Over 100 tendons, ligaments and muscles exist in the foot, and those muscles can become tense and strained. Foot stretches can help relieve foot pain. But Americans don’t have to visit yoga studios to relax their feet. One product, YogaToes (YogaToesInfo.com), helps stretch and strengthen foot muscles while refreshing overworked feet. Users simply wet and stretch the YogaToes, then put the soft, hypoallergenic material around their toes. YogaToes prove especially comfortable during hot baths. “I love my YogaToes,” wrote one user. “I travel with them, wear them around the house, sitting by the pool, anywhere and everywhere.”
  • Moisturize. To keep feet from drying out, thoroughly towel them after hot showers and baths. Use a moisturizer at least twice weekly, focusing on the sides and heels of the foot.

To keep dead skin from building up, consider purchasing and using a pumice stone. Soak your feet in warm water mixed with baby or moisturizing bath oil. Pat your feet dry, then use the pumice stone to gently remove dead or rough skin. Moisturize your feet after pumicing.

  • Watch your footwear. Tight shoes can further irritate dry skin. Wear comfortable shoes with clean, dry, 100 percent cotton socks. Use foot powder in your shoes and socks to help resist moisture.