You have your favorite flip-flops and tangerine polish picked out for the hottest day of summer—then you look down at your [insert gross foot dilemma here]. It’s time to think fast before starting the summer on —pardon the pun—the wrong foot.
Do you rush to the doctor or ignore it, exposing everyone to your unsightly (and possibly contagious) situation?
Here’s how to navigate your five shadiest foot issues to get you pedi and pool-ready.
1. DRY SKIN
Heels rough as sandpaper? You’re not alone. It’s one of the top complaints dermatologist Diane Madfes, M.D. hears in her Upper East Side office. Luckily this solution is a simple and natural one: Try a salt or sugar scrub to buff away dry skin, then moisturize with skin-quenching shea butter.
“Many people have cracks on their feet from their occupation or exercise—it doesn’t mean there’s an underlying medical issue,” Madfes says. “Painful fissures, however, could be a sign of eczema or psoriasis.”
Salicylic acid helps destroy dead skin cells which can be really beneficial for severely dry and cracked heels. Kerasal One Step Exfoliating Moisturizer Therapy Ointment contains salicylic acid and urea which helps hydrate and retain moisture in new cell layers.
Aside from avoiding shoes that create too much friction when walking, there are other ways to prevent these painful buggers. Namely, before slipping on your shoes, slather your soles with a protective balm. “Look for one with ceramides and lipids to help prevent blisters by restoring skin’s natural barrier,” Madfes says.
Epicuren’s Avocado Soothing Moisturizer contains shea butter (a ceramide) and avocado oil (a lipid). And since it can be used from head to toe, its subtle, refreshing scent is nothing like the odor we associate with medicated foot creams.
Didn’t heed our advice and got a blister? Keep it covered to allow it to heal, Madfes says. Find some relief with a “Help I have a blister” bandage from Help Remedies. The patch’s futuristic hydrocolloid material acts like an artificial scab. Ahhh, now that feels better.
Even the name is ugly: plantar warts. Found on the bottom of the feet, these contagious growths are caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV) and take some time (and effort) to destroy. Dr. Madfes prefers going the natural route.
“I have people use a grapefruit seed extract found in a health food store,” Madfes says. If it doesn’t shrink down after a month of painting that on and covering with a Band Aid, try one of the many OTC liquids and freezing treatments. Or make an appointment with your general practitioner, just make sure they freeze warts (not all doctor’s do!).
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