If you long for summer at the start of each year, you’re far from alone!
Maybe you get a season parking pass for Tobay or another local beach, trading between the hot sand and cool water. Or maybe you’re more a fan of pools instead.
Perhaps you enjoy laying out a picnic blanket or sitting back in a beach chair for the Music Under the Stars concerts at Allen, Burns, and other parks in the area.
Either way, odds are high you’ll have your feet out a lot more often than you did tromping around in the snows of December [through April]. That exposure can leave them more vulnerable to injuries and conditions that can put a real damper on your plans.
Don’t worry, though! It’s not hard to keep feet safe in summer, and also looking good, too. You just need a bit of forethought and consideration.
Here are some tips for guarding your feet during summer fun:
Practice Protection at Public Pools
It’s not just good alliteration, it’s good sense!
The fungus that causes athlete’s foot thrives in areas that are warm and damp. This makes areas such as public pools, gym locker rooms, and showers prime risk areas for picking it up.
If you remember to pack a pair of shower shoes or even flip-flops on your trips, you can help keep your feet above and out of the way of contracting a fungal infection someone might have inadvertently left behind. This is also a good tip for hotels, in case you want to take advantage of their pool services.
And when you’re done, make sure your feet are dried off. Stuffing damp feet into your shoes and walking around all day is going to create the same kind of fungus-happy environment that a locker room has—it’s just more of a private party!
When you dry your feet, make sure to get between your toes as well. And please don’t use someone else’s towel, if possible. You might not know what it’s been touching.
Keep Your Feet Moisturized…
We can hear you now. “You just told us to keep our feet dry! Now you’re saying to moisturize?”
We are! You don’t want to walk around with swamp feet, but you also don’t want your feet to dry out, either.
Dry feet can’t only look dull and flaky; they can lead to painful cracks and fissures in your feet. Those cracks can help aid infections of the above-mentioned foot fungus—or worse.
Invest some time in moisturizing your feet if you have troubles with dryness. One of the best times to do so is right after a shower or bath, when hot water tends to dry out feet even more. (Constant foot soaks will do the same thing, so don’t overindulge in them!)
Since the heels tend to have thicker skin and dry out more due to being a focus of so much daily use, be sure to concentrate on them if you need to. Also, don’t glop too much moisturizer between your toes, as they can be trap points for overmoisturization and damage.
…and Sun-protected, Too!
While rubbing creams and lotions into your feet, why not something with an SPF when you need it, too?
We don’t often think of our feet as needing sunscreen, likely because they spend so much time in shoes. However, our feet—especially the tops of them—are just as vulnerable to burning as many other places.
A sunburn rubbing up against your sandals is a showstopper all in itself, but regular exposure to sun radiation can also increase the risk of skin cancer—even on your feet.
You want an SPF of at least 15 for your feet, but higher is better. Apply it about 20-30 minutes before you head outside. Yes, we know how many of us don’t actually bother until we’re outside the car at the beach, but you’re going to start sweating then and that makes the application less effective.
Beware of Blisters
Whether you are running more during the summer or those sandals you’ve bought are rubbing you the wrong way, blister occurrences seem to rise with the temperature.
Ensuring your footwear is comfortable is the number one way of preventing blisters. Don’t wait until you’re on vacation or out-and-about to spend some time in a new set of sandals or that pair you haven’t worn in a year.
Some might recommend petroleum jelly and other forms of lubrication as good preventative measures. If your footwear causes you to need this, however (and you’re not a marathon runner), you’re not really finding a solution here.
If you do happen to get a blister, try to leave it be, if possible. If you must break it, sterilize a needle and prick the blister, trying to leave as much of the skin as possible as a protective covering. Then apply a band-aid.
Have a Safe Summer!
We hope we haven’t been a bummer with talk of burns, blisters, cracks, and fungus. But a little prevention and care beforehand can lead to a lot fewer worries and a lot more fun in the long run!
We wish you the best during the hot months, but know not all good times may end without one small problem or another. If circumstances lead to you experiencing a case of athlete’s foot, a sports injury, a bad burn—whatever the problem may be, don’t hesitate to contact us for expert and considerate care. We can also help you with measure to help the problem from happening again!
Call our office in Massapequa at (516) 804-9038 or fill out our online contact form to get started on the path to better foot health today.