Together with walks on the beach, dips in the pool and cooling ice cream, the chance to show off your feet is an extra bonus of summer. The time has come to don strappy sandals and give your feet some air. But with that freedom also comes a new set of concerns. Today Dr. Hubert Lee of CarePlus Foot & Ankle Specialists is sharing his tips to keep your feet happy and healthy all summer long.
Don’t forget the SPF. Most people don’t think about it, but your feet and hands are just as susceptible to sun damage as the rest of your body. And a sunburn on your feet can make shoes feel uncomfortable. Pay special attention to the tops of your feet when applying sunscreen and re-apply as needed.
Wash your feet daily. Keeping your feet clean in the summer is particularly important, especially if you spend time in thin-soled sandals or walk barefoot outdoors. Studies have shown that your feet can come in contact with as many as 18,000 different types of bacteria when wearing these types of shoes.
Don’t only wear flip-flops. Besides making it easy for you to pick up germs, flip-flops can also affect your posture and lead to orthopedic issues. When people wear flip-flops, they typically take smaller steps than they do in athletic shoes and use their toes to help keep them from sliding around. This can cause pain in the hips, lower back, and feet.
Air out your shoes. Athlete’s foot, which is characterized by flaky, peeling, itchy skin, is caused by a fungus that flourishes in damp, warm environments like sweaty socks or footwear. Let your footwear air out completely before putting them on, and wear fresh, cotton socks every day.
Avert and treat blisters. This is one of the most common difficulties people face when trying to maintain healthy, happy summer feet. The best prevention approach is to wear shoes that fit properly. If you do get a blister, resist the urge to pop it and see your podiatrist instead.
Exfoliate and moisturize your feet. A pedicure helps remove the dry skin that can harden, crack or cause uncomfortable calluses. Each day exfoliate your feet using a foot file, grainy foot scrub or pumice stone. Then moisturize them at day’s end with a moisturizing lotion to keep them hydrated.
Drink lots of water. When you don’t get enough water during the warmer weather, your blood thickens slightly, which impedes circulation and can lead to painful swelling. Always carry water with you, particularly when the weather is very hot and drink it even when you’re not thirsty.
Watch out for warts or growths. Examine your feet for warts or other growths. Warts are typically harmless and can be easily treated, but they should always be looked at by a podiatrist. Strange growths also need to be examined to rule out skin cancer.
If you want your feet to be the happiest and healthiest they can be this summer, contact the office of Dr. Hubert Lee at CarePlus Foot & Ankle Specialists today at (425) 455-0936 to book an appointment or schedule an appointment online so we can schedule a checkup.