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Summer Feet = Healthy Feet

Posted: May 15, 2009

Summertime means bare feet. At the beach, at the pool or just walking in sandals, it’s the season where feet get to breathe. But how do you keep your clients' feet healthy as they expose them to dangers, such as athlete’s foot and other maladies that can make feet itch, swell or just look ugly?

Maureen Jennings, MD, podiatrist, says healthy feet are always important, but even more so during the summer. “It’s not enough just to keep your feet clean,” said Dr Jennings. “A lot of people tend to ignore their feet, and as a result they expose them to all kinds of infections and problems that can cause them to be both unhealthy and unsightly. The last thing you want during the summer is to be forced to hide your feet because they’re red, itchy or inflamed. And let’s face it guys, wearing socks with sandals is one quick way to make the ‘loser’s list’ with the ladies.”

Jennings says there are 11 simple rules to quote to your clients for healthy, happy feet.

  • Proper hygiene and regular inspection of the feet and toes are the first lines of defense against fungal infections.
  • Clean and dry feet resist disease.
  • Wash feet with soap and water, and drying thoroughly is the best way to prevent infection.
  • Shower shoes should be worn when possible in public areas.
  • Shoes, socks or hosiery should be changed more than once daily.
  • Toenails should be clipped straight across so that the nail does not extend beyond the tip of the toe.
  • Wear shoes that fit well and are made of materials that breathe.
  • Avoid wearing excessively tight hosiery, which promotes moisture.
  • Socks made of synthetic fiber tend to "wick" away moisture faster than cotton or wool socks.
  • Disinfect pedicure tools. Advise your clients to always make sure professional pedicure tools are disinfected, as well.
  • Don't apply polish to nails suspected of infection—those that are red, discolored or swollen, for example.