Expert Foot Care Secrets

Texas’s Dr. Adriana Karpati shares her tips on how to get your feet looking beautiful and healthy for sandals.
Erin Shaw Street

Every spring Dr. Adriana Karpati sees them: feet that have been neglected all winter long. They’re dry, cracked―even painful. “People tend to forget about their feet during colder months, but it’s easy to get them back in shape in just a few easy steps,” says the Grapevine podiatrist, who is a partner at Foot and Ankle Associates of North Texas.

Here, Dr. Karpati shares her tips for getting your feet looking and feeling good. It doesn’t take much time―or money. And your feet will thank you.

Take Warm, Not Hot, Showers or Baths: “Winter saps away moisture from the feet and not just because of the weather. We tend to take long, hot baths and showers, which rob our skin of moisture,” she says. Use warm water instead and a wash cloth to clean feet.

Add An Exfoliant Scrub: “If you haven’t been exfoliating, now is the time to start,” Dr. Karpati says. Exfoliation removes layers of dead skin that make feet look dull. Use a scrub once a day in the shower and pair it with a pumice stone to soften the bottoms of your heels, toes, and any rough spots. Dr. Karpati recommends Olay Thermal Pedicure ($10.49, drugstore.com).

Moisturize Daily: As soon as you get out of the shower, apply a moisturizer (don’t forget the bottoms of your feet!). For an extra treat, use before bedtime and wear socks overnight.

Get a Safe Pedicure: “You want to put your best foot forward for spring and summer, but beware of unsterilized equipment and bacteria that can lead to fungal infections, athlete’s foot, and in the worst cases, skin diseases,” she says. Her advice: Invest in and bring your own instruments. Don’t let the technician cut your cuticles. And those throwaway flip-flops they give you at the salon? Just to be safe, skip them and wear your own.

Choose Healthy Nail Polish: It’s best to not wear toenail polish all the time (it provides an environment for fungus to grow). When you do, try to use your own polish. Dr. Karpati likes ones with tea tree oil―it helps to suppress the growth of bacteria.