Yup, it’s summer...open toed shoes and pretty feet season!
Here are some tips. Go ahead, put your best foot forward.
Cut Down On Blisters
A brand-spanking new pair of sandals often comes at the steep price of painful blisters. The sores form from the chafing that happens when a shoe rubs up against the skin until it balloons out and fills with fluid to cushion and protect the deeper layers of skin underneath.
The first step for prevention, is to buy shoes that are comfortable when you buy them and don't need to be "broken in." look for soft fabrics or leathers, and then take them for a test drive at home for an hour or so before you wear them outside to make sure they stay pain-free. You can also try lining any painful spots with moleskin to prevent the friction that ultimately causes blisters.
Prevent And Treat Dry, Cracked Heels
Wearing open-backed shoes can spread the fat pad of the heel, causing the skin to crack. If you have any deep cracks where you can see dried blood, treat the heel with an antibiotic oil and cover with a band aid.
If you just have run-of-the-mill dry summer heels, treating them with an exfoliating moisturizer every day is all you need to do. Dry cracked heels can also be a sign of a fungus, psoriasis, thyroid issues and diabetes, so if you're concerned, visit a podiatrist to get the all clear.
Proceed Barefoot With Caution
Walking barefoot might be one of the great joys of summer, but it can also put you at an increased risk of contracting viruses (think warts), fungus (like athlete's foot) or bacteria (which can cause a skin infection). These things tend to thrive in warm, moist environments, like a public pool.
Going shoeless also raises the risk of picking up foreign bodies, like stepping on glass or splinters. Even walking around barefoot at home can be problematic, as you have no support on the foot. If your house has a no-shoes rule, consider throwing on a pair of supportive slippers or indoor flip flops.
Ease Sweaty Feet
For some people, hot temps mean sweaty feet, and all that moisture can increase the risk picking up an infection. I suggests wearing socks that wick excess moisture away, and changing out of damp socks as soon as possible — if you can't shower, at least rinse your feet off. One natural trick? Brew regular black tea, let it cool and tuck your feet in for 30 minutes... the tannins in the tea can decrease sweat production.