Are Your Feet Ready for Spring?

Smart tips to keep your sole mates healthy.

Medically Reviewed by Arefa Cassoobhoy, MD, MPH on October 15, 2015
From the WebMD Archives

Spring has officially sprung, and it’s time to release your toes from their winter slumber. With sandal season right around the corner, are your feet ready?

You need to pay extra attention to your heels and toes when you have diabetes. The condition can leave your feet dry, cracked, and peeling. You can also get sores and ulcers you might not feel because of nerve damage.

Before you slip into open-toed shoes, learn how to give your feet a seasonal makeover.

How often should you check your feet?

Give them a thorough look-over every day. Cracks, cuts, sores, and blisters can pop up, and you might not feel them until they get infected if you have nerve damage. Have trouble seeing the bottoms of your feet? Ask your partner to help, or use a mirror.

Where should you use lotion?

Apply a thin layer of cream, lotion, or petroleum jelly to the tops and bottoms of your feet daily to keep your skin soft and supple. Don’t put cream between your toes, because the moisture could encourage fungus growth. Instead, sprinkle talcum powder or cornstarch between the toes to keep the area dry.

What’s the best way to treat corns and calluses?

See a foot doctor (podiatrist). Corns and calluses are thickened areas of skin on the feet that hurt when they rub up against shoes. Don’t try to cut or burn them off yourself -- you could injure your skin and cause an infection. Instead, make an appointment with your podiatrist to take care of these growths.

How should you cut your toenails?

Trim them straight across, and smooth the edges with a file. That way, they can’t grow and cut into your skin. If you have trouble trimming your toenails, ask your foot doctor to take over the job.

Other questions to ask him:

  • How often should I see you for foot exams?
  • How should I care for my feet at home?
  • What kinds of shoes are best for my feet?
  • What can I do if I have foot problems?

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