You wouldn’t give your toes a second thought nine months out of the year. But, between Memorial Day and Labor Day, they are suddenly on display at every backyard barbeque and pool party. It’s not always a beautiful sight. The good news is that it is fixable. The bad news is that it may need some effort. While certain foot ailments respond nicely to over-the-counter medications, others might be difficult to treat. Here’s how to deal with gross feet.
Corns and calluses
What is it: While both corns and calluses are hard, thickened areas of the skin, calluses tend to form where there is recurrent friction, and corns form when there is a pinpoint of pressure exerted on the skin. Calluses are more prone to form on the soles of your feet, whereas corns are more likely to occur in areas like your little toe rubbing against your shoe all day.
How to treat: Regular use of a light acidic debridement cream, such AmLactin or Gehwol Callus cream, can help keep calluses and corns to a minimum. Wearing well-fitting shoes or cushioned pads like Spenco PolySorb insoles may also help lessen calluses on the bottom of the foot. Corns may require medical treatment. Corns penetrate deeper into the skin and may require removal with a scalpel. In other words, kids, don’t try this at home.
What it is: Most yellow toenails are caused by fungal infections. Preventative measures include using antifungal powders on both feet and in shoe gear to eliminate the fungus and eradicate the source of contamination. Since fungus thrives in dark, moist places, the inside of your shoes is a perfect breeding ground.
How to treat: The good news is that sandal season can help you naturally limit the time your toes spend in fungal hotspots. Treatment options include laser treatments, nail thinning, and oral medication, all of which can be obtained from your foot doctor. Topical OTC medications work best on new, superficial fungi but have a low success rate. Oral medicine works better since it attacks the problem from within.”
What it is: While sweaty and gross feet are completely natural and healthy (the sweat glands in your feet produce half a pint of perspiration every day), excess moisture in the area might lead to other foot issues, such as athlete’s foot. Moreover, it serves as a breeding ground for bacteria, resulting in bad smells.
How to treat: Using more natural and breathable fabrics on foot will help. Additionally, wicking socks are beneficial in absorbing excess sweat. To help keep the dampness at bay, apply your daily antiperspirant spray or stick to the soles of your feet, and have an extra pair of socks in your office bag so you can change midday if necessary. Botox injections, which have been demonstrated to work remarkably well at terminating the sweat cycle, are used by doctors for extremely severe cases of over-sweating.
What it is: Warts are all viruses that spread by moist contact. The plantar refers to the soles of the feet, where the wart is located. They are easily transmitted and difficult to eliminate once infected. Wearing flip-flops instead of stepping barefoot in your gym locker room or at a public pool is essential for prevention.
How to treat: Most of the time, you’ll need to visit a podiatrist to get this one under control. If you’d rather do it yourself, get a bottle of salicylic acid at 17% and apply it to the affected area with a cotton ball before bed. Leave it to dry overnight before gently scrubbing the wart with a pumice stone in the morning to reduce its size. You may eventually be able to get rid of it totally from your foot (but unlikely).
What it is: Dry skin can be caused by a variety of factors, including long, hot showers, prolonged sun exposure, and medical conditions like diabetes. The issue is more common in the feet since they have sweat glands but do not produce oil.
How to treat: If the skin around your heels is cracked and flaky, use a foot scrub to gently slough off the dead skin. A Foot Scrub is a solid bet. When the skin surrounding your heels stretches with each step, it is easy to reopen the cracked area. Coat the affected area with a thick salve or cream. This works best when applied to damp skin after showering and cleaning your feet to lock in moisture.
What it is: The last remains of your primate forefathers’ furry skin.
How to treat: Refrain from grabbing and pulling. This will result in ingrown hairs, which are both painful and unattractive. Shaving (cheap, but those suckers will be back and thicker than ever in a few days), waxing (do-it-yourself or visit your local salon; slightly painful but lasts about a month), electrolysis (permanent but expensive), or laser treatments (a notable, long-lasting reduction in hair), both of which must be performed by a medical professional, are your options.
As you can see, there are various reasons why you would want to keep your gross feet hidden away. Nonetheless, the majority of them have effective treatments and preventative strategies. Thus, if you want prettier and healthier feet before your next barefoot occasion and to get rid of gross feet, act now!