With soon-to-be-three salons, a beauty brand and a little one at home, Kate Verling of Mink Hand and Foot Spa on mastering multitasking
With soon-to-be-three salons, a beauty brand and a little one at home, Kate Verling of...

Lauren Heskin

Organising a hen party? These are the 18 essential dos and don’ts for bridesmaids
Organising a hen party? These are the 18 essential dos and don’ts for bridesmaids

Geraldine Carton

Travelling with kids: what you need to know before going away this summer
Travelling with kids: what you need to know before going away this summer

Sarah Finnan

Try this crispy elderflower cocktail this bank holiday weekend
Try this crispy elderflower cocktail this bank holiday weekend

Holly O'Neill

What to do when your boss is a bully
What to do when your boss is a bully

Colette Sexton

Filming has begun on the TV adaptation of Graham Norton’s debut novel down in West Cork
Filming has begun on the TV adaptation of Graham Norton’s debut novel down in West...

Sarah Finnan

8 engrossing Netflix picks worth starting this long weekend
8 engrossing Netflix picks worth starting this long weekend

Jennifer McShane

Rihanna is about to release Fenty Parfum
Rihanna is about to release Fenty Parfum

Holly O'Neill

House of Gucci: The explosive true story behind Lady Gaga’s upcoming crime biopic
House of Gucci: The explosive true story behind Lady Gaga’s upcoming crime biopic

Jennifer McShane

Rosemary MacCabe: ‘I thought I’d accepted my body – then I got pregnant’
Rosemary MacCabe: ‘I thought I’d accepted my body – then I got pregnant’

Rosemary MacCabe

Image / Self / Health & Wellness
Sponsored

How to get your feet sandal ready for summer, according to a podiatrist

Sponsored By

by Shayna Sappington
02nd Jun 2021
Sponsored By
blank

Dublin podiatrist Barbara O’Connor shares her expert-led guide for minding your feet, including what we should and shouldn’t be doing daily.

Often tucked away into socks or slippers, our feet can be easily forgotten about, especially when it comes to daily care. But not keeping up with foot hygiene can lead to bigger, recurring issues like calluses, corns, blisters and cracked heels.

“Daily foot hygiene is so important to keep our feet free from both bacterial and fungal infections that can affect the skin and toenails,” says podiatrist and chiropodist Barbara O’Connor

And while having proper footwear is important, it is equally important to mind our feet daily, making sure we keep them clean and moisturised to avoid common issues like cracked heels, ingrown toenails and infection.

Examine your feet and footwear regularly

First and foremost, we should be examining our feet regularly to make sure we are aware of what our feet need. Are your shoes causing blisters or calluses on your heels? Are your nails discoloured?

“Feet should be checked regularly for signs of stress and friction that may be caused by footwear,” says Dr O’Connor. “Tight shoes will pinch and not feel comfortable and loose footwear can cause even more problems like calluses (hard skin) formed when the skin becomes very dry and subjected to friction.”

blank
Getty Images

“On very dry skin, fissures can form along the rim of the heel and can cause great pain and leaves the area open to infection. The heels are particularly prone to excess callus and if not maintained and hydrated daily they can crack.”

We need to check our feet frequently, looking for dry or cracked skin, calluses or blisters; then we can adjust our footwear and daily treatment.

Recommended daily foot care

Most of us invest in a strict skincare regimen for our faces, but neglect our feet. Dr O’Connor recommends we simply mind our feet like we look after our complexions.

“I recommend all my clients care for their feet as they care for their faces. With regular care and appropriate treatments, you can ensure that your feet stay healthy and able to carry you through life,” she explains.

“Good daily hygiene is essential. And I recommend the following steps.”

  1. Soak your feet for a few minutes in the morning. Avoid using very hot water and never soak for more than ten minutes.
  2. Dry the skin with care – do not rub too hard.
  3. Sprinkle foot powder between your toes and across your feet popping on hosiery. This keeps your feet cool and fresh, controlling sweat and moisture that can cause fungal infections and painful friction blisters.
  4. At night, apply a little foot cream or moisturising cream before bed. Never apply between the toes.

Dry, cracked heels and blisters

“For dry and cracked heels, I recommend using a good moisturising cream like Flexitol’s Moisturising Foot Cream

“The Flexitol’s Heel Balm is excellent for this problem too as its intensely hydrating properties can produce visible results from first application.

blank

“For blisters, avoid bursting them yourself. Cover the area with a dry dressing and leave them to heal on their own.” 

Dr O’Connor also recommends gently buffing dry skin with a foot file or pumice stone once a week (not recommended for diabetics) and trying to have a few nail varnish-free days a month to let nails breath.

Discolouration, self-tan stains and DIY pedicures

Over the winter months our toenails are often neglected, and they can thicken and discolor. Discoloration is often caused by nail varnish and tanning products. 

“The use of a nail buffer gently on the nail plate following the use of a good cuticle oil can help restore a clean healthy appearance,” recommends Dr O’Connor.

“This summer, when using tanning products, make sure to buff and moisture the feet first, especially the heels. Then smear the toenails with a light film of Vaseline to prevent the nails from staining.

“Also, when doing at-home pedicures, don’t cut toenails too short and be sure to file the nails to avoid leaving rough edges. It’s important that we stay away from DIY foot treatments, never cutting corns, calluses, or ingrown toenails ourselves. Always visit your chiropodist/podiatrist to treat these issues.”

SPF for your feet

When wearing sandals this summer, Dr O’Connor urges that we don’t forget to apply SPF to our feet.

“As we start to expose our feet again this summer don’t forget to extend the sun cream down the legs to the feet,” she says. The skin on your feet is highly susceptible to melanoma and other forms of skin cancer.

blank
Getty Images

Also, it is especially important for those with poor circulation and diabetes to look after their feet. 

“Poor foot hygiene can cause infections that can affect not only our mobility but can lead to severe complications (even amputations) particularly in those with diabetes and poor circulation in the lower limbs,” Dr O’Connor says.

So, next time you’re doing your morning or evening skincare routine, make sure to set aside a few moments to focus on foot care too. That way you can keep your feet clean, moisturised and ready for sandal-worthy weather.


The Flexitol range has a highly effective Heel Balm and Moisturising Foot Cream for rapid repair, making sure feet are ready to ‘show off’ this summer! 

Also Read

blank
premium HEALTH & WELLNESS, RELATIONSHIPS
‘The midwives placed him on my chest and ten minutes later Beau passed away’

At her 21-week scan Laura Doyle and her family got the news that her little boy Beau would not survive...

By Laura Doyle

Irish LGBTQI+ charities
HEALTH & WELLNESS
13 Irish LGBTQI+ charities to support this Pride month and every month

Celebrate Pride month by showing your support to some of the brilliant Irish LGBTQI+ charities there are out there. Today...

By Sarah Finnan

blank
HEALTH & WELLNESS, REAL-LIFE STORIES
‘I suffered in silence’: Lorraine Keane opens up about experiencing perimenopause in her late thirties

When she was in her late thirties, Lorraine Keane started experiencing insomnia, anxiety and mood swings. She was trying to...

By Shayna Sappington

sunburn
ADVICE, HEALTH & WELLNESS
Feeling hot, hot, hot: Here’s how to properly treat your sunburn

With the country getting a bit of sunshine, there’s no doubt some people will fall victim to sunburn. Here’s how...

By Grace McGettigan

blank
premium BUSINESS, PARENTHOOD
Stop asking SAHMs when we’re going back to work – we never stopped

In April this year LinkedIn finally added stay-at-home-mum to its list of official job titles. So why, asks Kate White,...

By Kate White

housemates
RELATIONSHIPS
I moved in with my boyfriend but I really miss my housemates

I love living with my significant other but I find myself missing the gang of amazing women I used to...

By Lauren Heskin

blank
premium HEALTH & WELLNESS, REAL-LIFE STORIES
‘When I was offered the vaccine, I had assumed it was a scam of some sort and debated not showing’

Alice Sommers was attending a Dublin hospital as an outpatient for a yet diagnosed but presumed minor issue yet found herself identified as being ‘at very high risk of severe disease or death’. What did the hospital know that she didn’t? And how would her high risk, non-vaccinated, friends react?

By Alice Sommers