by Dr. Adriana Karpati of Summer Soles®
Frisco, Texas -Summer means sandal weather, which means that having perfectly primed feet is an imperative for women looking to show off their assets. With this in mind, bilingual (English/Spanish) podiatrist and Summer Soles’® spokesperson Dr. Adriana Karpati (www.summersoles.com), offers a number of tips to get feet looking their absolute best.
“Getting feet sandal ready for summer requires proper exfoliation, cleaning of the nails, instituting preventative measures for odor and moisture, treating fungal infections, and a beautiful but safe pedicure,” states Dr. Karpati, who is double board-certified in foot surgery and wound care and in private practice at Foot and Ankle Associates of North Texas (www.faant.com).
Exfoliation of dead skin and getting rid of calluses of winter: “Cell turnover occurs constantly in the body to produce new skin cells. These new cells are made in the deeper layers of our skin. The process of ‘pushing’ the new skin to the surface causes the older skin to exfoliate. With the dryness of our feet during the winter, sometimes this shedding process just does not happen quick enough! Nothing better than a salt-based foot scrub by FarmHouse Fresh and a good old-fashioned pumice stone to do the trick! No better place to exfoliate than in the shower!,” Dr. Karpati explains. A few OTC products she recommends: EO Amazing Feet Travel Kit; Pedi Relax (Pedi-Sof products); Olay Thermal Pedicure; Lamisilk.
Cleaning the nails: “We tend to ignore the grime that builds up under the nail when toe toes are cold as we try to keep them bundled up. Fungus can work its way under the nail and onto the nail bed giving you nail fungus! Keeping the nails clean is essential in overall foot health. In cleaning under the nail, always remember to use the clean pointed end of a cuticle stick. Gently working out the debris and follow this by scrubbing under the nails with a sudsy nailbrush. Use the blunt end of the cuticle stick covered with a thin towel to massage the cuticle down. Dry them well, apply cuticle oil all over the nail. Voila! You’ll have shiny, white and healthy looking nails!”
Keeping odor away and moisture away with preventative measures: “In warm weather, keep foot perspiration from lingering on shoes and causing odor with sandal liners made by Fragrant Footings™ by Summer Soles®. These insoles peel and stick for full shoe coverage in all types of shoes. Fragrant Footings also have subtle scents in mint, jasmine and lemon that keep your feet smelling nice and feeling refreshed. Plus they’re dermatologist-tested, hypoallergenic and non-sensitizing. I like these versus other OTC brands of foot odor control products mainly because most of these other brands of products actually have been found to cause fungus problems.”
Getting rid of fungal infections: “Dermatophytes is a general term being used to represent a group of fungi that most commonly cause fungal skin infections. With in that group, ‘tinea pedis’ is responsible for Athlete’s foot and ‘trichophyton rubrum’ is responsible for most of the nail fungus (aka onychomycosis). There is fungus “amongus”-and once that fungus takes hold, it feeds off of the dead skin cells. In Athletes foot, this leads to irritation of the skin, more scratching and more shedding! In fungal nails, the build up of fungus and debris under the nail causes nail discoloration, thickening and in some cases, loosening of the nail from the underlying nailbed. Treat Athlete’s foot with the OTC Lamisil cream for one full month and wear protective shoe gear around those pools, gyms and locker rooms, and dry feet well after bathing and to spray your shoes/sandal with an anti-fungal spray regularly to avoid a recurrence. However, nail fungus is much more difficult to get rid of. The most effective way to treat nail fungus is with a prescriptive oral anti-fungal. Most of the topical over the counter remedies you hear can improve the appearance of the nail, but will not kill the fungus under the nail, so spend your money wisely towards a prescription written by your podiatrist!,” she says. A few OTC products Dr. Karpati recommends for improving the appearance of the nails include: Appearex and Clearly Confident Anti-Fungal Cream.
Moisturizing dry feet: “Winter can sap away the moisture from your feet and not just because of the weather. We all tend to take long hot baths and showers during those winter months. Doing so will sap the moisture right out of your skin. Taking a short warm bathcan really help to retain your skin’s moisture. For cleaning feet, a quick once over with a wash cloth is enough to do the trick and keep them soft! Applying a heavy moisturizing cream (Eucerin is good), not a thin lotion, to allow for absorption,” she comments. In addition to recommending the Farmhouse Fresh Sweet Cream Body Milk as an effective foot moisturizer, she likes: Boots Botanics Overnight Foot Treatment; Freeman Bare Foot Shea Butter Heel & Callous Balm in Peppermint & Plum; Heel Sol intense Revitalizing Heel Repair; Luxuriant Cracked Heel Repair; Dr. Blaine’s Complete CallusCare Medical Strength Moisturizer; Sally Hanson Vitamin E nail and Cuticle Oil; Yes to Carrots Pampering Spa Manicure; ; and Miracle of Aloe Miracle Foot Repair.
Getting a beautiful, but safe pedicure: “You want to put your best foot forward for spring and summer with the most colorful array of nails, but beware of unsterilized equipment and bacteria that can lead to fungal infections, Athlete’s foot, and in the worst cases, skin diseases. I always advise the following:
1. Find a salon that does not have jet tubs as part of the pedicure pampering. Those harbor a bacteria colony deeply rooted in the pipes that cannot be thoroughly cleansed. Stick to places with the no nonsense, easy to clean basin where bacteria cannot hide.
2. Bring your own flip flops to take you from the chair to the driers.
3. Make sure the instruments being used on you come out of a sterile pack.
Adriana Karpati, DPM, FACFAS, CWS, has been practicing for over 9 years in the Dallas/Fort Worth area and has a special interest in reconstructive aesthetic foot surgery, sports medicine, diabetic limb salvage, chronic wound care and childhood foot problems.