General Footcare Guidelines
Keeping your skin at the optimal moisture level is important. If the skin is too dry, it can crack. If the skin is too moist, it can lead to fungal skin infections and unpleasant odor. Here are some general recommendations:
- After bathing, it is important to dry between the toes. This area is the most prone to retaining moisture, and it is the most common place for athlete's foot, fungal skin infection, to occur.
- It is also important to try and let the feet air-dry for at least 5-10 minutes before putting socks on. This will allow the moisture between the toes to evaporate.
- If your feet tend to sweat, use of over-the counter foot powder can help decrease moisture and odor.
- Moisturizing agents, such as cream or lotion, can be useful in maintaining good skin health. As a general rule, you want to refrain from getting moisturizer between the toes. As mentioned previously, the toes retain enough moisture naturally, and using moisturizer in this area can create an environment that is too moist.
- Lotions do not moisturize as well as creams. Lotion is thinner, due to an increased water content, which decreases the moisturizing power. For people with normal to mildly dry skin, lotion works just fine.
- People with moderate to severe dry skin will want to use a thick moisturizer cream up to twice a day. Bedtime application can be enhanced by placing socks on the feet to sleep. If standard moisturizer cream does not do the job, using a petroleum based product, such as Aquaphor, may help. If none of the over-the-counter products seem to work, there are prescription moisturizers available, and we would be happy to help you find a solution.
Nail Trimming Tips
- Do not trim your nails too short. There should be a small remainder of white nail plate at the tip of the nail.
- Trim your nails straight across. Do not round off the corners.
- Trim your nails after bath or shower. The nails are more pliable at this time, and less likely to split.
How to Handle Corns & Calluses
Many people have corns and calluses that can be self treated. It is always advised to have a professional evaluation, to confirm the cause of the callus, and to make sure there is no wart or skin tumor present. After a diagnosis of corn or callus is made, following these simple guidelines can help relieve your pain and decrease the amount of trips to the doctor for professional treatment.
- Use of a pumice stone or emery board is helpful to remove the thickened layers of skin. It is best to use these tools after bathing, when the skin is most pliable.
- DO NOT use a razor blade or metal filing device. The skin beneath the callus is delicate, and it requires expert treatment to remove all of the callus, without going too deep and cutting through the skin. As a general rule, if your callus remover looks like it could also grate cheese or zest a lemon, it should not be used on your skin!
- Be very careful with over-the-counter callus and wart removers. These products generally use an acid to break down the thickened skin. The acid does not differentiate between thick skin and normal skin, so it is possible for the product to penetrate too deep, burning through the good skin.
- Use of moisturizer cream, especially at bedtime, will help to soften the thickened layers of skin. This will decrease discomfort and help when you use your callus remover device.
- When in doubt, call for an appointment. It is better to be cautious and safe than to risk injuring the skin, which may lead to further complications.