For many of us, summertime means lots of time by the pool or at the beach. While you’re there relaxing and sunning, we want you to put your best foot, or perhaps we should say your best nails, forward, and we offer these suggestions.
Clean your nails. During outdoor activities you may come into contact with various contaminants. So, at the end of your day clean your feet thoroughly. Give them a nice, relaxing soaking in warm water to which you’ve added some Epsom salts or an essential oil.
Keep your nails and cuticles moisturized. When applying lotion to prevent your skin from drying out, don’t forget to apply lotion to your feet, nails and cuticles as well. Rub the moisturizing cream all over your feet and into your nails and cuticles. This helps maintain the moisture that they need, too.
Don’t forget to exfoliate. Your feet and nails can take a pretty good beating during a day poolside or at the beach. At the end of the day, do a little maintenance work, using a lotion with a natural pumice to treat calluses and scrub away tough skin.
Beyond the Basics
Leave your cuticles alone. Whether you have your nails professionally groomed or do them yourself, many dermatologists strongly suggest leaving the cuticles alone. Their belief is that the cuticle is the natural barrier to fungus and bacteria, and once the barrier is breached, the protection is gone. Thus, many recommend neither cutting nor pushing back your cuticles.
Watch how you cut your toenails. Many dermatologists also recommend cutting your toenails straight across rather than at an angle to reduce the risk of ingrown toenails which can be painful and sometimes develop into an infection.
Avoid emery boards. Discard those old-fashioned, orange emery boards in favor of a smooth, fine file. And don’t saw back and forth. File in one direction only, and do it slowly and evenly to avoid damaging your nails.
Consider a biotin supplement. If you’re bothered by thin, splitting nails, you might ask your physician to prescribe a daily dosage of 2.5 milligrams of biotin to add thickness and strength.
Hopefully, these suggestions will help keep your toenails strong, healthy and attractive during the summer months.
If, however, despite your best efforts, you develop some foot problem, don’t hesitate to contact us. Email or call 847-540-9949 to set up your foot care appointment with one of our specialists.