Put Your Best Feet Forward

As the weather gets warmer, open-toed shoes will put feet on display. You may be tempted to forego the sandals — or wear them with socks, risking a citation from the fashion police — to mask unsightly feet. But once you learn some foot care basics, you can expose your toes and have healthy, happy, good-looking feet year-round:

Wash — and dry — feet thoroughly. Don’t forget to dry between the toes, where trapped moisture can lead to athlete’s foot.

Inspect feet regularly. Look for changes, growths, and areas of thick skin. Discolored or thick toenails may indicate a fungal infection. Women who regularly wear toenail polish may be masking a nail problem; if you spot discoloration, leave off the polish and consult a podiatrist.

Wear shoes that fit well. Many people wear their shoes too small, which can lead to ingrown toenails and other foot problems. Shop for shoes after a long day when feet are at their largest.

Replace worn shoes. Also alternate shoes to give your favorite pair a chance to dry out completely.

Never go barefoot outdoors. Bare feet are susceptible to injury and infection.

Don’t forget sunscreen. Sunburned feet are no fun.

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