beach toes
Beauty & Style

Preparing Your Feet and Toes for the Beach

When temperatures start to climb, sandals and beach time can’t be far behind. But preparing your tootsies for the sand and surf should start well before it’s time to bare your feet and toes.

Despite accounting for nearly one-quarter of our bones, 18% of joints and 6% of muscles, our feet are often forgotten and neglected when considering our body’s health and maintenance.But with summer around the corner, it’s high time to tackle any leftover issues from the covered-up winter months that might prevent our feet from looking and functioning at their best.Of course we want our feet and toes to look amazing when we’re walking beside the surf and donning our favorite sandals. With some simple care and cosmetic attention, your tootsies can be ready whenever the sunshine beckons.

Take care of the basics 

Just as the first step in painting a picture would be readying a clean canvas, prettying up your feet starts with basic hygiene measures. A long soak in warm, sudsy water will loosen up dead skin, and using an exfoliating foot scrub can rid the surface of flaky cells.Try rubbing a pumice stone on your feet each day to remove tougher callouses, especially on your heels. Then add a thick, heavy moisturizer after your feet are clean and patted dry.Properly drying feet is crucial, by the way, since athlete’s foot – caused by a fungus prevalent in locker rooms, swimming pool areas and communal showers – thrives on moist skin. Summer-ready feet don’t match up well with athlete’s foot. If you’re in these humid, moist places, wear shower shoes or clean sandals to avoid picking up this itchy infection.

Attend to the details   

Beyond the basics, you can pick and choose from a series of next steps to prepare your feet and toes for the beach. It all depends on your goals and what you’d like the end result to look like. I suggest these measures:

  • Trim toenails: Use nail clippers to cut straight across the nail, following the contour of your too. Don’t go too short or down at the corners, which can lead to painful and unsightly ingrown toenails.
  • Choose a polish that “breathes”:A salon pedicure is great, but it’s almost as easy to apply the nail polish of your choice in your own bathroom, readying your toes for their summertime debut. Bonus points for using “breathable” nail polish versions that allow oxygen to pass through, which can help keep nails healthier.
  • Try a massage:After a winter stuck in boots and hard shoes, your feet will “wake up” with a foot massage to improve circulation and relieve pressure on hard-worn areas. “You can give yourself a foot massage for 5 or 10 minutes at a time, adding warm coconut oil or a favorite moisturizer to make your feet feel like a million bucks.
  • Buy new sandals:This tip is optional, of course, but summer’s arrival is the perfect excuse to shop for a new pair of sandals that show off all your dedication to making your feet look their best. Instead of flip flops, which offer almost no support, look for sandals that offer plenty of arch support, with cushioned soles that will stand up to all your newfound outdoor time.

Bio: Rebecca Sklar, PA-C is a certified physician assistant through the National Commission of Certification of Physician Assistants. Advanced Dermatology P.C. and the Center for Laser and Cosmetic Surgery (New York & New Jersey) is one of the leading dermatology centers in the nation, offering highly experienced physicians in the fields of cosmetic and laser dermatology as well as plastic surgery and state-of-the-art medical technologies.

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