As the weather gets warmer, you may be spending more time outdoors, whether doing yard work, playing sports, or exercising. Although you may be inclined to enjoy these activities barefoot, now is the time to protect your feet! In this blog, we highlight three foot care tips to consider before going outdoors and getting active this summer.
Wear the Proper Shoes
Going barefoot outdoors is always tempting in the summer, but it is always safer to opt for shoes to guard your feet from bugs, plants, and sharp objects on the ground. Besides protecting your feet, shoes also provide the necessary support that helps you avoid lower limb pain from collapsed arches or added pressure on your joints.
Depending on the activity, there is a variety of footwear that best suits your needs. All shoes must fit properly, provide adequate arch support, and offer some flexibility. Closed-toe footwear should have enough room in the toe bed for your toes to move around and not feel cramped.
If you are hiking, choose a comfortable shoe or boot with enough tread to allow your feet to grip the uneven ground. If you are doing yard work or mowing the lawn, always wear closed-toed shoes to avoid injury from blades or flying debris. If you plan on spending some time in the water this season, consider a quick-drying, lightweight shoe or sandal that will protect your feet from foreign objects.
Protect Your Feet From the Sun
Feet can be sunburned too! Make sure you apply sunscreen to your feet as often as you do to the rest of your body. According to the American Academy of Dermatology Association, one in five people will be diagnosed with skin cancer in their lifetime. Therefore, it is essential to take precautions to protect all areas of your skin exposed to the sun. If you are exercising or swimming, choose a sweat-resistant sunscreen and be sure to reapply as directed.
If you experience sunburn on your feet, apply soothing lotions like aloe, and keep the area hydrated. Hydrated skin is less likely to peel and become more prone to infection and further sun damage. Also, consider switching to a higher SPF and avoid sun exposure until the burn subsides.
Don't Pop Blisters
Summertime usually means new shoes, and sometimes it takes a moment for our feet to adjust to their new surroundings, especially when exercising. As a result, straps or edges of the shoe can rub against the skin and cause painful blisters. As tempting as it may be to pop these blisters, do not! Opening any wound on your body increases the risk of infection. Additionally, creating a raw area of skin where irritation has already occurred will most likely make the site more painful if you continue wearing the shoes.
As a blister heals, your body will naturally reabsorb the liquid in a blister, causing it to deflate. We recommend covering the blister to further protect the area and avoid wearing the shoes that caused the irritation until the blister heals. If the blister does pop on its own, apply antibiotic ointment and keep bandaging the area until it has healed.
If you experience any foot pain or injuries this summer, do not hesitate to seek help from an experienced podiatrist. Foot pain is not normal, and seeking the help of an expert will result in less time off your feet and more enjoying outdoor activities. Call 717-757-3537 or fill out our online contact form to schedule an appointment at any of our five locations today!