Published: 2011-05-16 11:05:39
Author: EMMA SUPPLE
Keep nails clean and clipped and don't forget to apply cream... then you're ready for your flip flops
As a foot specialist, I see some horrors. Corns, florid fungal infections, weeping blisters and ugly lumps of hard skin are all in a day’s work (although of course, once they are on my treatment couch, these feet are on the road to recovery).
But come spring I notice them outside of the clinic, too, on men in flip-flops and women in strappy heels, all of whom seem blissfully unaware that their toes and heels are in desperate need of medical attention.
You may think that toe nails that look like crumbling cheddar cheese are normal because they don’t hurt, but they aren’t.
Because many conditions are slow to develop and cause pain only in very late stages, I often see patients with extremely advanced foot disease. But suffering these problems is just not necessary in many cases.
There are simple home treatments and methods of foot care that should mean you stay out of the podiatrist’s office. The added bonus is gorgeous healthy feet that are ready to bare in the warm weather.
PALE NAILS, A GOOD ARCH AND NO ODD LUMPS
Healthy feet do not necessarily need to be perfectly shaped. However, the nails should be slightly paler than your skin colour and have a natural sheen – not shiny, but not matt. They should be clean with no patches of discoloration, and not be thick, splitting, or curled in.
Also, there should be no odd lumps on toes or anywhere else, and a good arch. Most people have a bit of hard skin around the heel or big toe but if this is painful it should be looked at. Your feet shouldn’t hurt.
REGULAR UPKEEP IS ESSENTIAL
Priority attention with all feet should be the toenails. If shabby and unkempt they are unsightly. Keep them trimmed regularly as overly long toenails are prone to getting caught on things and fungus can build up under the nail, infecting the nail itself.
Use toenail clippers to keep them short and file rough edges. After trimming, dab nails with tea tree oil, a natural anti-fungal, to help keep them healthy and clean.