Going barefoot in the summer is only natural and has some benefits for short periods of time, but is not recommended for outside the home or garden. Too often, injuries occur from punctures or cuts. If engaging in water activities, such as canoeing or kayaking, try to wear water shoes or sandals to protect your feet along rocky shorelines or river beds. If an injury has occurred, contact your podiatrist or doctor.
If you are a diabetic, shoes should be worn at ALL times to avoid injury. Even the slightest scrap can be a cause for alarm among people with diabetes, where healing can be difficult and may lead to limb amputation.
The Winter is forgotten and we’re being rewarded by long, hot and humid summer days. By now you’re breaking in your footwear, so here is some foot care advice to keep your feet healthy, happy and injury free.
Summer Foot Care Tips!
Watch out for flip-flops!
While flip flops are popular, fashionable and convenient to wear, they put people at risk of developing foot problems especially when worn for long periods and successive days. Flips flops don’t have the necessary support, protection or fit and the heel often slides over the edge. If worn for a prolonged period of time, they can cause severe arch pain or pain on the ball of the foot and even under the toes as the toes constantly claw to keep the flip-flops on the feet. Also, flip flops offer no stability for the foot, causing the foot to move while walking. As a result, blisters, or pain on the ball of the foot can develop.
Flip flops do protect the foot from the hot sand at the beach, or prevent the spread of athlete’s foot or plant warts at the pool, but you’re more prone to injury because you’ve got your toes exposed. Find footwear that has a strap around the heel for better fit and reduced likelihood of foot injury.
Blisters occur when feet get hot & sweaty, making socks stick to the feet. The sock and foot then rub against each other and the inside of the shoe. Fluid fills up a space between layers of skin to protect the area, like a small balloon.
Tip: In most cases, blisters heal naturally and do not require specialist attention. The body will reabsorb the fluid and the blister will dry and peel off. The skin that forms on top of the blisters provides a natural defense to infection. Ideally you should not pierce a blister with a needle and allow it to heal naturally.
You can cover a blister with an adhesive dressing or gauze. If the blister is causing you pain then cover the area with a soft dressing and change the dressing daily. Once the blister bursts, avoid peeling the skin and cover the exposed skin with a dressing.
If a blister becomes infected, it will be very painful, swollen and possibly red. It is advisable to visit your foot specialist for a check-up. This is especially important for those with increased health risks, such as diabetes and poor circulation.
Extra step: There are special blister cushions which can be purchased fro a local pharmacy that can be used as prevention in areas that are blister prone.
If you are prone to sweaty feet, you are more prone to fungal infections. In the warm, summer months, take time to expose your feet, without socks, to the air more often for short periods. Have 2 or 3 different pairs of shoes that you rotate through. Beware of communal showers at swimming pools and gyms as foot fungus and warts can be easily acquired in these areas. If you suspect a fungal infection or a wart, contact your podiatrist or doctor promptly to avoid spreading it. If you have a cut or injury affecting the skin, keep these areas covered to avoid getting an infection and check it at least every other day to make sure it is not infected.
During the summer, the skin on the bottom of your feet is prone to dryness and cracking due to excessive sweating and exposure. In extreme cases, your feet can bleed or become infected. Use a foot file or pumice stone on your heels every day in the shower or bath. Apply softening foot cream to the heels twice a day. If an over the counter cream doesn’t help, talk to your podiatrist about a prescription product..
Most of us have a friend or relative who can clear a room when they kick off their shoes. And even the sweetest smelling person can do a good job stinking up a pair of shoes by running a few miles in them.
The main thing that feeds foot smell is sweat. With more than 250,000 sweat glands each, your feet are among the most perspiring parts of the body. In one day, each foot can produce more than a pint of sweat! Heat, sweat, moisture, synthetic fibers, closed footwear and hyperhidrosis can all cause smelly feet.
Tip: Keep feet clean and dry. If you wear socks, change them daily. Look for specialized synthetic sports socks, often designed for athletes. These materials are designed to wick moisture away from the skin, thus reducing sweat and odour. Change shoes daily. Alternate between different shoes each day if possible. Give them a chance to dry out. Dust feet frequently with a foot powder (don't forget between the toes to remove excess moisture). Choose shoes that are made of leather, canvas, mesh or other materials that let the feet breathe.
Extra step: You can purchase special anti-perspirants for feet over the counter at many pharmacies if the above measures aren't enough.
And finally DON'T forget the sunscreen!
Don’t forget to apply sunscreen to the tops of your feet and toes. If your feet are exposed, they will get burned, and this makes wearing closed shoes painful and difficult thus even more potential for foot injuries.
Have a safe and enjoyable summer and above all, keep those feet happy, injury free and healthy.
Guelph: (519) 823-1450
Milton: (289) 242-3668
(289) 242-FOOT * Guelph (519) 823-1450 * Milton (289) 242-3668 * firstname.lastname@example.org