All this spring rain signals what’s right around the corner – summer.  Yay summer!  Check out this article (for the pretty, published version) written by Dr. Kate Johnson, DPM.  Or, just continue reading below.

SUMMER IS JUST around the corner! It’s the season for hiking, biking, golf and tennis, not to mention backyard barbecues, pool time and vacations. All winter long your feet have been hidden away in boots and (admit it) just a bit neglected. However, as warm weather arrives, it’s a good idea to give your feet a little extra TLC.

Break out the flip-flops and sandals. We’ve created a list of steps you can follow to get your feet ready for summer.

• Enjoy a good soak. Fill a bowl with warm water and place your feet in it for 10 to 20 minutes. Scented oils or Epsom salts can be added to the water if desired, however, warm water by itself is enough to soften and smooth your skin.

• Exfoliate. During the winter months feet tend to dry out and skin can become flaky and callused. It’s helpful to exfoliate your feet regularly. A great way to do this is with a sugar scrub, foot file or pumice stone. Gently smooth away any dead skin or calluses.

• Moisturize Daily. Use a heavy moisturizing cream daily. Creams that have Urea will be most effective in combating those thick callused heels that tend to crack. For unusually dry skin, slip on a pair of socks after applying the cream to help increase absorption.

• Keep Nails Trimmed. A polished pedicure looks and feels great! Keep in mind, salon pedicures are meant only for aesthetics and should not substitute for a visit to your podiatrist. A salon technician should never shave corns and calluses, and ingrown toenails need to be treated by a podiatrist to avoid infection and recurrence.

• Beware of Fungal Infections. Athlete’s foot and toenail fungus can be embarrassing and uncomfortable. See your podiatrist if you have thick, discolored nails or skin that appears dry, scaly, rash-like or itches. Fungal infections can worsen over time and spread, so the sooner treatment begins the better.

• Keep Sweat and Odor Away. Moisture in shoes can expose you to fungal and bacterial infections. Rotating your shoes allows them to air out and dry completely between use. For excessively sweaty feet, an over the counter antiperspirant with aluminum chloride can be used daily on the skin.

• Slow and Steady. A sudden increase in activity and change in shoe gear can subject feet to overuse injuries. Gradually increase physical activity and stagger your light weight shoes and sandals with more supportive shoes. This allows the feet to acclimate, thereby avoiding problems of heel pain, tendinitis, cramps, sprains and fractures.

• Be Foot Smart. If you have diabetes, neuropathy or poor circulation, consult with your podiatrist to discuss any special precautions you might need to take to get your feet ready for summer.

For all of your foot and ankle related healthcare needs feel free to contact our office for an appointment.

Kate Johnson DPM is a board qualified podiatrist practicing at A STEP AHEAD FOOT & ANKLE CENTER, in Loveland and Fort Collins, along with Michael Burns DPM, Robert Schulte DPM and Chad Knutsen DPM. Currently accepting new patients.