Gents, listen up. Summer is pretty much here and the time for life in the sun has arrived. While we are firmly of the school of thought that you are ‘beach body ready’ when you are ready to take your body to the beach, we know that some areas may need a little love. Our feet, for example, haven’t seen daylight since that final BBQ in October when we really should have worn shoes but braved flip-flops out of principle. Quite frankly, they are looking a bit scary.
To help, London Sock Company’s favourite celebrity podiatrist and medical stylist Ghazaleh Rahimi Khoub shares some of her top tips for getting your feet summer-ready.
Treat your feet with what you eat
If your nails start to crack or they become brittle it’s mostly likely due to a protein deficiency. Ensure you get sufficient protein from healthy sources like vegetables, like asparagus and broccoli, pulses, like lentils, and nuts. This way you also avoid the saturated fat that you would normally find with meat. Iron is also really important. Pairing iron-rich foods like spinach, chickpeas and lean meats with foods rich in Vitamin C will optimise absorption.
Be a fun guy, avoid fungi
Toenails are unfortunately a common place for fungal infections to thrive. To avoid this, reduce your intake of sugar and cheeses that contain fungus of any sort – specifically (and sadly) blue-veined cheeses like Roquefort, and camembert and brie. Any form of fungus within the body through the diet as well as high sugar levels can encourage fungus to grow in the nails.
One of the most common complaints that I see in the clinic is patients with ridges on their nails. These complaints usually are accompanied by other symptoms such as brittleness and discolouration as well. There are multiple reasons for this: a lack of proper nutrition, injuries to the nails, infection and even kidney and liver diseases. Thankfully there are several natural remedies that you can use to combat the issues. For ridges, for example, try regularly applying yoghurt with cotton wool to the nail and leaving to soak before washing off. A mixture of garlic and coconut oil reduces ridges and is also an ideal solution for those that have any kind of fungal infections due to coconut oil‘s anti-fungal qualities. Aloe vera gel and lemon juice helps with brittle nails thanks to aloe’s moisturising qualities. For infections, try coconut oil and tea tree oil.
To get your nails looking barefoot-ready use a medium soft toothbrush together with some activated charcoal. Brush the nails for about four minutes and rinse off with warm water before rubbing in some coconut oil. I promise, you will see instant results after your first try. I recommend you do this once a twice a week if you want beautifully healthy pink nail beds (and sandal-worthy feet!) for the summer.
Seek out a professional
I do recommend that you start seeing a podiatrist before the summer begins. In most cases for your feet to be looking and feeling their best, you would require two to three treatments. From cracked heels to hard skin and damaged nails, a podiatrist can treat the issues and transform your foot health (and consequently your general health in many cases). Once you’ve had a few treatments you will feel confident that you not only know how to look after your feet going forward and but also much more comfortable and exposing them in your sandals.
Go go H2O
Throughout the summer months, hydration is absolutely key to ensure healthy skin and healthy nails. Drink plenty of water. The more hydrated your feet, the more elasticity in the skin, which prevents any cracks and possible skin infections.
Drop the flip-flops
I really recommend that you opt for sandals that offer you support in the arch, particularly if you are intending on exploring places by foot. Brands such as Birkenstock or those with more of a ‘barefoot concept’ such as Camper and Vvobarefoot are great and provide better comfort and support than flip-flops or sliders and are still stylish. Generally when feet are placed on a flat plank with no support in the arch area the toes for extended periods, the unsupported arch forces the forefoot to do the majority of the work which can cause long-term damage such as hammer toes and bunions. Try and keep your flip-flop and sliders for the poolside and if you’re out during the day, choose something a bit more supportive.
Sock it to summer
Trainers or loafers obviously offer the greatest support but make sure they are breathable as there is a greater risk of infection if feet are left damp and sweaty. Wearing good quality cotton socks will help too. London Sock Co. has some wonderful lighter, brighter styles that will look great with tailored shorts and loafers. If you are opting for the ‘no socks look’, try invisible socks, particularly in trainers as they will absorb the sweat.
Put your feet up
After a long day of wandering and exploring in the sunshine, you can relieve feet tiredness by soaking them for 20 minutes in some epsom salt water followed by a nice foot massage (ask your partner nicely!) using either coconut oil or any other oil of your choice. Oils are a great source of nutrition to the nails, helping support and strengthen the nail bed, and reduce the hard skin around the cuticles. They also act as a great barrier to the skin and the nails for the prevention of infections. You’ll be ready for even more holiday adventures the next day.
Standards in beauty and well-being have evolved, and more people are turning to medical professionals to have their aesthetic needs met. This includes footcare, an area typically ignored. Having a medical professional take care of your feet can give you advanced knowledge about the health of your feet in relation to the rest of your body. A podiatrist can help you prepare for and prevent any complications later on in life, something that is especially important for those who are diabetic or have a family history of diabetes.
Ghazaleh and The Refinery are offering LSC members a complimentary podiatry treatment when you book a Biomechanical Assessment and use the code PODRefinery. Each Biomechanical Assessment is designed to assess your gait cycle – your feet, legs hips, general structure and how this related to your walking – with a view to singling out any abnormalities and improving your walking, performance and overall foot health and wellbeing.T&Cs apply. To find out more about The Medical Stylist or to make a booking, you can call Ghazaleh on +442038138210, catch her on instagram at @medicalstylist or book in with her at The Refinery in Mayfair by visiting www.the-refinery.com.