It's Summer! Full Blast! My Latest On Caring For Your Feet In The Heat!

It's Summer!  Full Blast!  My Latest On Caring For Your Feet In The Heat!

Summer months and summer weather present different challenges for people regarding the health of their feet.  Hot weather means people wearing more open shoes, shoes without support, wearing closed shoes with bare feet.  Hot weather means more outside activities leading to more injuries.  

All Toes On Deck: Tips for Protecting Your Feet...From The Heat!

One perk of a beach-bound vacation is knowing that instead of snow soaking through your Choos or having your feet feeling toasty in sweaty Uggs, you can lounge happily with your toes dangling in the warm weather, shoe-free with the sand at your feet. But alas, the dream does come with its own set of tootsie troubles. Even if you are just lying still on your back soaking up the rays, your feet are still vulnerable. You can seriously sunburn your feet and no matter how upscale your hotel, athlete's foot can lurk in all public pool areas.


Wouldn't you rather spend time collecting sea shells than doctor's bills? No worries. There are ways to prevent these future foot predicaments so you can go back to your sun-kissed dreams and enjoy a liberated foot experience.
Limit walking barefoot as it exposes feet to sunburn, as well as plantar warts, athlete's foot, ringworm, and other infections and also increases risk of injury to your feet.
Wear shoes or flip-flops around the pool, to the beach, in the locker room and even on the carpeting or in the bathroom of your hotel room to prevent injuries and limit the likelihood of contracting any bacterial infections.

Remember to apply sunscreen all over your feet, especially the tops and fronts of ankles, and don't forget to reapply after you've been in the water.
Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water throughout the day. Drinking water will not only help with overall health, but will also minimize any foot swelling caused by the heat.

Keep blood flowing with periodic ankle flexes, toe wiggles, and calf stretches.
Some activities at the beach, lake, or river may require different types of footwear to be worn, so be sure to ask the contact at each activity if specific shoes are needed. To be safe, always pack an extra pair of sneakers or protective water shoes. If your shoes will be getting wet, they should be dried out completely before your next wearing to prevent bacteria or fungus from growing.

If you injure your foot or ankle while on vacation, seek professional medical attention from a podiatric physician. Many often only contact a doctor when something is broken or sprained, but a podiatrist can begin treating your ailment immediately while you're away from home. Use our Find a Podiatrist tool to get treatment wherever your travels take you!

In case of minor foot problems, be prepared with the following on-the-go foot gear:

Flip flops—for the pool, spa, hotel room, and airport security check points

Sterile bandages—for covering minor cuts and scrapes

Antibiotic cream—to treat any skin injury

Emollient-enriched cream—to hydrate feet

Blister pads or moleskin—to protect against blisters

Motrin or Advil (anti-inflammatory)—to ease tired, swollen feet

Toenail clippers—to keep toenails trimmed

Emery board—to smooth rough edges or broken nails

Pumice stone—to soften callused skin

Sunscreen—to protect against the scorching sun

Aloe vera or Silvadene cream—to relieve sunburns

Injuries

1. Achilles Tendinitis is an inflammation of the Achilles tendon. Inflammation is a natural response to injury or disease, and often causes swelling, pain and irritation in the area that is affected. Symptoms may include: pain, aching, stiffness, soreness or tenderness within the tendon, small nodules may also occur in the tendon and swelling that is present worsens with activity. If you experience these symptoms, ensure you make an appointment with us as soon as possible. We will examine your foot and ankle, perform any necessary diagnostic tests and prescribe the best course of treatment for you

2. Shin Splints are caused by inflammation to the muscles that surround the shinbone. This can be caused by an overuse of muscles, stress fractures or over pronation and misalignment of the joints of the feet. Symptoms usually include pain down the front of the lower leg. If you are having trouble with shin splints, it’s best to see your Podiatrist as soon as possible

3. Ankle Sprains Injuries to the ligaments of the ankle are known as ankle sprains. An ankle sprain can occur during sporting activities, when walking on uneven surfaces or just walking around the house. An ankle sprain or ‘rolled’ ankle is a very common injury. Treatment is well advised to prevent any further damage and ensure correct healing takes place and to rehabilitate back to full activity.

4. Plantar Fasciitis/Heel Pain refers to inflammation of the band of tissue (the plantar fascia) that extends from the heel to the toes. In this condition, the fascia first becomes irritated and then inflamed-resulting in heel pain. The symptoms typically feel like a stabbing pain in the heel or arch area under the foot. The pain is usually at its worst with the first few steps on a morning however, it can also be triggered by long periods of standing or rising after a prolonged rest. During exercise you may not feel it but it does tend to resurface after. A trip to your Podiatrist would be advised to see exactly what the underlying cause of this really is. If this is not fixed then this problem tends to reappear intermittently.

5. Stress Fractures are tiny, hairline cracks that are usually caused by overuse and repetitive stress or they may be caused by abnormal misaligned foot mechanics. Stress fractures usually occur in runners, basketball and netball players that have the constant sudden stop, start movement. Symptoms include pain that develops gradually, with or after normal activity, pain that goes away upon resting and then returns when standing or during activity and pain at the site of the fracture.
If you are experiencing any of the above or any other lower limb injury, contact us and let us get you back on track.

For any other tips or concerns, don't hesitate to email me at info@sandspodiatry.com.

Author
David Sands, DPM

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