Foot Care Tips for Sandal Season

With the warm weather approaching, I recommend soaking in Epsom salt to reduce swelling and other foot irritations that are common in the summer. Our feet tend to swell more from the summer heat, looking less attractive at a time when they are more visible in open shoes. My motto is “Treat your feet the way you treat your face.

Swelling can cause problems year-round, but it’s especially troublesome in the summer, when people wear sandals and other shoes with straps. The inflammation aggravates bunions, bursas, corns and hammer toes.”

Your feet have swollen to a size 8.5, and now you’re trying to squeeze into an 8 or 7.5. It’s like trying to squeeze into a dress after you put on weight.

To combat the swelling and soothe sore feet, I recommend adding half a cup of Epsom salt to a gallon of lukewarm water and soaking your feet for 15 minutes at the end of the day.

Ideally, it would be done every day, but if people are too busy, it should be done at least three times a week.

You can also make a paste with Epsom salt and use it to exfoliate your feet. My recipe: mix half a cup of Epsom salt with a holistic, natural moisturizing agent, such as 5% or 10% glycolic cream. I keep a Tupperware container with the paste in the shower.

It’s fabulous. It works on the callouses, makes the hard skin disappear and makes the foot feel better.

Other foot advice:

  • Prevent ingrown toenails by trimming toenails straight across without cutting into the sides.
  • Use a pumice stone and a moisturizing agent to soothe callouses.
  • Bring your own equipment to your nail spa to help guard against fungus and other infections.
  • Apply zinc oxide sunscreen to your feet to reduce sun damage, including sun burn, premature aging of your skin and hyperpigmentation (an excess of melanin, the brown pigment that produces normal skin color.)

Dr. Suzanne Levine has been chosen by her colleagues as one of the most influential podiatrists, and New York Magazine selected her as one of New York’s best doctors. The book How Top Physicians Treat Themselves included Dr. Levine in their chosen 200. Dr. Levine is the author of seven books, including the best-seller My Feet are Killing Me. She’s also a favorite of network television interview shows. She’s made multiple appearances on the Today show, The View, Today in New York., and she has been interviewed on 20/20, The Oprah Winfrey Show, Good Morning America, Extra, CNN, Access Hollywood, Live with Regis and Kathie Lee, The New York Times, Vogue, W, Town & Country, USA Today, New York Post, Elle, Harper’s Bazaar, Newsday, Marie Claire, Shape, People, Cosmopolitan, Self, Glamour, Allure, Family Circle and Prevention. For more information, please visit

About Epsom salt

Epsom salt — actually magnesium sulfate — is one of the most versatile household products, with uses ranging from creating at-home spa treatments to soothing achy muscles to helping start or improve gardens. It’s been used therapeutically for hundreds of years, and it’s gaining a new generation of fans looking for a safe, economical alternative in a sea of expensive, over-the-counter remedies. Epsom salt is easy to use, easy to find in your local pharmacy or grocery store and it costs about the same per use as a cup of coffee. For more information, please visit either,

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