The warm weather means one thing: Time to break out those lovely Sandals.
* After soaking, slough away calluses around the heels, balls and sides of your feet with a pumice stone or foot file. Avoid using a foot razor because it removes too much skin and can easily cause infection and permanent damage if used incorrectly.
* Eliminate dry skin and calluses by using an exfoliant scrub on the soles, sides and tops of your feet. Rub in circular motions and be sure to thoroughly rinse off the scrub. Pat feet dry, paying special attention to the area between your toes. Moisture can promote the development of athlete’s foot or other fungal infections.
* Clip toenails with a straight-edge toenail clipper to ensure they do not become curved or rounded in the corners. Toenails should be trimmed to just above the top of each toe.
* Remove buildup under your toenails with a wooden or rubber manicure stick. Do not use a sharp tool to clean under your nail because you may puncture the skin and leave it vulnerable to infection.
* Smooth nail edges by filing toenails with an emery board. File lightly in one direction without drastically rounding the corners of the nail. The file should only be used to smooth the edge of the nail and not to scrape the nail’s surface.
* Apply a healthy amount of emollient-enriched lotion over your feet. Be sure to remove any excess moisturizer from your toenails and from between your toes.
* After cuticles have been sufficiently moisturized, gently push them back with a rubber cuticle pusher or manicure stick. Cuticles serve as a protective barrier against bacteria entering the body and should never be cut.
* If you like to pamper your feet with pedicures, schedule appointments for first thing in the morning. Foot baths are typically cleanest earlier in the day.
* Apply nail polish only if your toenails are healthy. Nail polish locks out moisture and does not allow the nail or the nail bed to “breathe.” Remove the polish regularly.