We love our summer shoes in Bermuda! Whether we’re sporting our strappy sandals or open-toed wedges, or just bumming around in our flip-flops, our feet are much more exposed in the summer. *Photo supplied
We love our summer shoes in Bermuda! Whether we’re sporting our strappy sandals or open-toed wedges, or just bumming around in our flip-flops, our feet are much more exposed in the summer. *Photo supplied

We love our summer shoes in Bermuda! Whether we’re sporting our strappy sandals or open-toed wedges, or just bumming around in our flip-flops, our feet are much more exposed in the summer. 

Here are some ways to keep your feet in tip-top condition all through sandal season.

Probably the most common complaint people have about their feet are dry, cracked heels. So treat your heels with a moisturizer every day — we have a few different kinds of foot and heel creams in the pharmacy, such as E45 and Neutrogena Foot Cream — and run a pumice stone or foot file over them once or twice a week in the shower. Remember to file only in one direction as going back and forth can actually make split skin worse. Dry, cracked heels can also be a sign of a fungus, psoriasis, thyroid issues or diabetes, so if you’re concerned, visit a podiatrist or dermatologist to get the all clear.

Calluses are thick and hardened areas of skin that form as a result of constant pressure and friction. Again, using a pumice stone and exfoliating the area weekly will help. Avoid overzealous sloughing. Calluses actually form as a way to protect feet, so don’t file them down entirely and don’t use a razor as it can cut skin and lead to infection. There are also some over-the-counter salicylic acid products for calluses. And, of course, wear different shoes.

If you have itchy, red, peeling skin in between your toes or on the bottom of your feet, you may have athlete’s foot. Try an over-the-counter antifungal ointment, cream or powder such as Canesten or Daktarin. Ointments and creams seem to be more effective than powders because they are better absorbed by the skin. Also try to keep the area between the toes as dry as possible to help speed up healing.

Discoloration in your toenails may be a sign of fungus. Try using an over-the-counter antifungal solution such as Canesten or nail lacquers (Kerasal and Fungicure) or tea tree oil to prevent spreading. Before applying a topical treatment, rough up the toenail with an emery board. This will allow the topical treatment to soak in better.

Excessive sweating can be a breeding ground for fungus and odour. Try an over the counter anti-perspirant like you use on your underarms. Make sure it is an anti-perspirant and not a deodorant. Or there are also powders made specifically for foot perspiration. If odour is a problem, get a shoe insert that has charcoal as an ingredient. Charcoal helps absorb odours.

We love how summer sandals let our feet breathe But with thong flip-flips and strappy wedges inevitably come blisters. As the temperatures rise, our feet sweat and swell in our shoes, which can make the rubbing worse. To minimize irritation, try to prevent blisters with a few preemptive bandages on spots that are most likely to irritate, or try an over-the-counter blister block stick.

Finally, while shoes can cause a lot of issues with feet, walking barefoot is actually worse. Walking barefoot can put you at an increased risk of contracting viruses like warts, fungus like athlete’s foot or bacteria, which can cause a skin infection. And these things tend to thrive in warm, moist environments, like a public pool. Going shoeless also raises the risk of picking up foreign bodies, like stepping on glass or splinters.

So to keep your feet in top health this summer, consider following these tips.