"What can be done to combat the damage that flip flops do to my poor feet?"
Well for starters, I know we all tend to gravitate towards wearing flip-flops because they are convenient, somewhat comfortable, and they come in a variety of colors. The only problem with flip-flops is that they lack arch support, therefore, your feet begin to hurt after a certain amount of time, and if worn frequently, they can cause long-term health problems. (http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/Springtime/story?id=5013448&page=1) It is best to wear shoes that are comfortable, support your arch, and keep your body in proper alignment. I’m sure by now many of you have heard about fit flops but they aren’t that great either. At first I thought they were the greatest most comfortable flip-flop in the world but after some time, my feet didn’t think so. Recently, 20/20 produced a segment on fit-flops and tested whether or not they give you the support and work your muscles like the company says they do. The article is not available online yet but the results of the report were “No they do not!”
Now to answer Kerri’s initial question…
Our heels really take a beating in the summer due to the fact that we wear flip-flops, mules, sling backs, and other shoes that cause a flopping motion against our feet. In response to this constant pounding, the skin on the soles of our feet begin to thicken. This thickened skin is our body’s defense and serves as protection for the feet. Also, the soles tend to become dry and even scaly or cracked. This is why it is important to get a pedicure from a licensed professional every two weeks. To maintain your pedicure at home, you could use a foot file in the shower to file away and soften the dry-hard-dead skin. At night, apply Vaseline to your feet and wear cotton socks. If you want to intensify the moisture therapy, you could wrap your feet in saran wrap and then put on cotton socks. I don’t suggest you sleep with the saran wrap on because your body temperature will rise and your feet will begin to sweat, thus making your sleeping experience uncomfortable and leave your feet sweaty and your toes shriveled up. I also like pure shea butter and this can be used in the morning.
Remember at home maintenance is just that and it does not replace the job of a licensed professional nail technician. There are products that we use during a pedicure that are not available for purchase by the general public. I will get more into the types of products that can be used to solve some of your most common foot problems when I discuss the purpose and steps of a pedicure.