Summer is a season of fun in the sun and it’s not over yet. Who doesn’t enjoy sun, surf, sand and even the occasional game of corn hole with family and friends? In order to avoid missing the party, take a few moments to read our foot care suggestions. Avoid going barefoot. Not only does the lack of arch support increase your risk for muscle and tendon injury it also increases your risk of sunburn, blisters, infection and foreign body injury. I have removed glass, pencil lead, wood, broken sewing needles, twisty ties, staples and even sea urchins spines from patient’s feet.
Please find a good arch supportive shoe or sandal to wear this summer. There are several manufacturers making good arch supportive sandals these days. My personal favorites are Vionic, Spenco, New Balance, Keen, Teva, Merrell and Birkenstock. Keep in mind, if you can’t see the arch support, it is not there.
If your summer plans include enjoying the water, please consider wearing a water shoe; this will help protect you from foreign body injury and also provide a layer of protection from the sun. In addition, fungus and viruses both seem to like water. If you are enjoying the pool, pond, river, lake or ocean make sure you dry your feet well at the conclusion of your activity. Infections such as athlete’s foot, toenail fungus, ringworm and even plantar warts have an increased prevalence around water.
A little sun on the body this summer sounds great, but keep your feet protected. The last place people think to apply sunscreen is the top of their feet. A sunburn on top of your feet can ruin a good day and expose you to risk for some skin related cancers. Believe it or not, malignant melanoma can start under your toenails.
Don’t overlook making sure your toenails are well trimmed prior to participating in summer activities. Our office has treated some pretty interesting toenail injuries that could have been prevented had the toenails been trimmed prior to the activity.
Plan ahead and take a small foot care kit with you this summer. The kit should include toenail clippers, sunscreen, band-aids and antibiotic cream or ointment. Be sure to pack appropriate shoes, blister pads or moleskin and an over-the-counter anti-inflammatory like Advil or Aleve if the activity requires it.
If you injure your foot or ankle this summer, seek the opinion of a medical professional as soon as possible. Podiatric Physicians specialize in foot and ankle injuries and will get you back to enjoying your summer activities.
I hope you found these tips helpful to enjoy a summer of fun in the sun and avoid any foot or ankle problems.
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