Skin Deep

Keep your feet in tip-top shape

If you’re lucky enough to live in warm weather, you know that open-toed shoes are a year-round affair — but even if you live in a cooler climate, you know that sandal season is fast approaching. There’s no excuse for stepping out (or even padding around the house) with gnarly feet, so here are a few of my favorite ways to keep your peds pretty.

Prevent calluses

High heels sure do a number on our feet. Just think about the small area responsible for carrying around our entire body weight. To prevent the buildup of skin that forms in the name of protection, a little cushioning goes a long way. Though I don’t wear high heels often, when I do I use Foot Petals Tip Toes. They absorb shock, keep the balls of the feet comfortable and prevent calluses without making shoes feel too snug.

Eliminate roughness

You want your soles to be soft and smooth to the touch, and this is as easy as scrubbing away dry, rough skin. To avoid slipping and sliding around in the shower, you may want to skip oil-based scrubs — and with Shea Terra Organics Shea Butter & Malawi Sugar 2-n-1 Body Scrub, you get all the smoothing with none of the grease. It’s packed with glycolic acid from natural sugar crystals plus volcanic stone to sweep away dead skin — and it smells good enough to eat (but please don’t).

Help for your heels

Dry, cracked heels are one thing (try slathering on a rich cream and wrapping your feet in plastic wrap at bedtime), but a scaly appearance could be a fungus. If you suspect this is the case, use over-the-counter Lamisil twice a day — and if you don’t see clearing in three weeks, see your dermatologist.

Get nicer nails

The nails can fall prey to various cosmetic and health concerns, and your dermatologist has a variety of prescription treatment options that can help. Nail fungus is among the most common, and there are several ways to give it the boot. The prescription Penlac goes on like nail polish and penetrates the nail to stop fungus at the source. Another (and faster) option is the VBeam laser, which clears fungus in roughly three treatments (at $300 each). This laser can also be used to eliminate plantar warts in two treatments, which is significantly speedier than over-the-counter options.

Dr. Leslie Baumann is a board-certified dermatologist, author and CEO of Baumann Cosmetic & Research Institute in Miami.