Beat The Heat: 8 Summer Tips to Keep Your Feet Healthy
Beach trips, flip flops, and…foot sweat. It’s the good, the bad, and the ugly when it comes to summer and your feet. Your feet may be basking in the golden glow of the sun while you’re relaxing at the beach or poolside, but you may want to take some extra precautions when it comes to your feet. Don’t spend your summer in a doctor’s office instead of on the lido deck.
“Your feet are just as susceptible to burns like any other place on your body,” says Dr. Norman Regal, a podiatrist at Triad Foot & Ankle Center. “But sunburns aren’t your only worry. Burns also occur when walking on hot sand or on the pavement on the pool deck. Sunscreen and shoes are always recommended when out in the summer heat.”
The American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA) has also put together tips to help your feet beat the heat:
- Limit walking barefoot, as it exposes feet to sunburn, as well as plantar warts, athlete’s foot, ringworm, and other infections. It also increases the risk of injury to your feet.
- Wear shoes or flip-flops around the pool, to the beach, in the locker room, and even on the carpeting or in the bathroom of your hotel room to prevent injuries and limit the likelihood of contracting any bacterial infections.
- Remember to apply sunscreen all over your feet, especially the tops and fronts of ankles, and don’t forget to re-apply after you’ve been in the water.
- Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water throughout the day. This will not only help with overall health but will also minimize any foot swelling caused by the heat.
- Keep the blood flowing with periodic ankle flexes, toe wiggles, and calf stretches.
- Some activities at the beach, lake or river may require different types of footwear to be worn, so be sure to ask the contact for each activity if specific shoes are needed. To be safe, always pack an extra pair of sneakers or protective water shoes. If your shoes will be getting wet, they should be dried out completely before your next wearing to prevent bacteria or fungus from growing.
- If you injure your foot or ankle while on vacation, seek professional medical attention from a podiatric physician. Many often only contact a doctor when something is broken or sprained, but a podiatrist can begin treating your ailment immediately while you’re away from home. Use a ‘Find a Podiatrist’ tool (found on the APMA website) to get treatment wherever your travels take you!
- In case of minor foot problems, be prepared with the following on-the-go foot gear:
- Flip flops – for the pool, spa, hotel room, and airport security check points
- Sterile bandages – for covering minor cuts and scrapes
- Antibiotic cream – to treat any skin injury
- Emollient-enriched cream – to hydrate feet
- Blister pads or moleskin – to protect against blisters
- Motrin or Advil (anti-inflammatory) – to ease tired, swollen feet
- Toenail clippers – to keep toenails trimmed
- Emery board – to smooth rough edges or broken nails
- Pumice stone – to soften callused skin
- Sunscreen – to protect against the scorching sun
- Aloe vera or Silvadene cream – to relieve sunburns
For more information about keeping your feet healthy or to make an appointment with one of the podiatrists at the Triad Foot Center, click here to request an appointment.
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