Summer is finally here, which means it’s time to free your feet and enjoy all that the season has to offer! Unfortunately, summer can be hard on your feet, thanks to the sun, poolside activities, various types of footwear, and much more. By taking these easy precautions, however, your feet will remain healthy and happy throughout the hot summer months and beyond:
Wear the Right Footwear
We know you’ll want to be wearing flip-flops, but you’re better off choosing well-fitting shoes that properly support you. You’ll help prevent injuries and decrease your odds of developing bacterial infections on your feet and toes. If you really must wear flip-flops, choose styles with good arch and heel support, and don’t walk in them for long distances.
Apply Sunscreen to Your Feet
You remembered to put sunscreen on your shoulders, face, and even the tips of your ears, but what about your feet? Even your ankles and the tops of your feet need protection from the sun’s harmful rays! Choose a sunscreen with 30 SPF or more to help prevent sunburn, skin cancer, and premature aging in the skin. Remember to reapply it every 2 hours or after swimming or sweating, even if you’re just dangling your feet into a pool.
Drink Plenty of Water
When your body becomes dehydrated, your feet are usually the first to suffer the consequences. Remember to stay hydrated, especially during the hottest parts of the day, to help minimize foot swelling and flush out toxins. Sick of plain water? Enjoy plenty of fresh fruit, vegetables, cottage cheese, and other water-rich foods to remain hydrated!
Try an Epsom Salts Soak
After a long day of outdoor adventuring, your sore feet deserve some pampering. Prepare a tub of warm water and sprinkle a small amount of Epsom salts to treat your feet! Soaking for 15-20 minutes twice a week can help relax the tissues, release toxins, and help calm you as well.
Let’s face it – no one likes blisters. Do your best to avoid them by breaking in your new pairs of shoes before you head outside. Should you wind up with a blister, wash the area with soap and water and cover the blister with moleskin or a liquid bandage product to help reduce friction.
Moisturize Your Feet
That’s right, even feet need to be moisturized, especially during the summer when they are exposed to the elements. Doing so will help prevent cracked heels and keep your feet feeling smooth. Take a few moments to moisturize them each night before bed to lock in much-needed moisture.
Inspect Them Frequently
Keep tabs on your toes at all times this summer! You’ll want to inspect your feet, heels, and ankles for any cuts and scrapes, especially if you have diabetes. Don’t forget to check your toenails for signs of ingrown nails, fungal infections, or athlete’s foot as well.
Wear Shoes Poolside
We know, it’s tempting to kick off your shoes when you’re heading to and from the pool, but resist the urge and keep wearing them! Donning your feet with flip-flops or shower shoes around the pool or in the locker room (and even in your hotel room) can help prevent injuries and pesky fungal infections.
Let Them Air Out
Of course, your feet can’t be trapped inside shoes 24/7. Give them some breathing room by wearing supportive open-toed shoes or sandals. We also suggest taking your shoes off every once in a while throughout the day to keep your feet happy and dry.
Clean Them After Any Water Activity
Did you just finish wading around in a lake or river? Before you put your socks and shoes back on, take a moment to rinse your feet with clean water and pat them completely dry. Stagnant water is the ideal place for bacteria, which could make themselves at home on your unsuspecting feet.
Pamper Yourself with a Pedicure
Treat your feet to some at-home TLC! Giving yourself a pedicure helps remove dead, flaky skin cells, cleanses your feet, and makes them look better than ever. Grab a pumice stone, emery board, sterilized nail clippers, and a towel to help your toes look and feel amazing!
Be Prepared for Emergencies
No matter how hard you try, accidents will still happen. Be prepared with a handy emergency kit for your feet! Fill a small kit with sterile bandages, antibiotic cream, blister pads, anti-inflammatory medications, clippers, sunscreen, aloe vera, and emollient-enriched cream to keep your feet protected, no matter where you are. Don’t let tired feet or bacterial infections spoil your summertime fun. Contact the friendly, knowledgeable doctors at The Foot & Ankle Center to help get your feet back in shape! Schedule your appointment with us by calling (314) 487-9300.