During the summer months, many individuals choose to go barefoot or wear a variety of open-toed shoes while embracing the warm weather. As a result, it’s essential to be mindful of your summer foot care to protect your feet from a host of problems that accompany the summer season. Here are a few tips to help you protect your feet this summer.
1. Limit walking barefoot.
Whenever possible, wear shoes or sandals to minimize the risk of sunburn, fungal infections like athlete’s foot or ringworm, and potential injuries. Many public environments that are frequented during the summer—public bathhouses and community pools—are the perfect breeding grounds for infections to live. When these fungi or bacteria touch your skin, you may contract plantar warts or other infections. Plantar warts are painful and do not go away unless adequately treated. Read more about what to know about plantar warts in our recent blog.
2. Wear proper footwear.
Taking care of your body starts from the bottom-up. Proper footwear supports your feet and ankles and can relieve pressure from other parts of your body, such as your spine and knees. Especially during the hot summer months, we recommend skipping the generic flip-flops and slides in favor of more supportive sandals with back straps and arch-friendly footbeds. Some podiatrist-approved footwear brands include Vionic and Chaco. Baretraps also has a great variety of summer-friendly shoes to support your feet. For a full list of recommended footwear brands, check out this webpage.
3. Apply sunscreen to your feet.
We can’t emphasize this enough! Regularly apply sunscreen to the tops, bottoms, and sides of your feet and your ankles. If you spend time in any pools, lakes, ocean, or other bodies of water, be sure to reapply sunscreen shortly after you get out. Applying sunscreen is key to avoiding sunburn and keeping your feet healthy. Consider choosing a sunscreen that doubles as a moisturizer to keep the skin on your feet and ankles from cracking or becoming too dry.
4. Don't pop your blisters.
Summertime usually means you’re wearing sandals more than normal, and sandal straps rubbing against your ankles and feet often cause blisters. If you have the misfortune of acquiring blisters, don’t pop them! As tempting as it may be, popping your blisters increases the likelihood of infection. As your body naturally reabsorbs the fluid within it as it heals, we recommend simply covering the spot with a bandage and gauze if the blister becomes more irritated over time. If the blister continues to be painful, consult your podiatrist to ensure that the sore is properly treated.
While these four tips are critical to caring for your feet this summer, we recommend visiting a podiatrist or physical therapist if you experience foot pain or notice abnormalities below the knee in the coming months. Since your feet and ankles will most likely be uncovered more than usual, it’s normal to become aware of any unusual spots, sores, or rashes. Contact our team at Martin Foot and Ankle today to schedule an appointment! You can reach us at (717) 757-3537—we’d love to hear from you.