Spring Foot Tips

Activities

Spring is a time of year when, like all seasons, your feet can go through dramatic changes. During the winter, we tend to be less active and wear drastically different shoes and footwear. As Springtime come, the weather warms up and people begin to do more outside. Gone are the winter shoes and boots. They are replaced by sneakers and lighter shoes. Increased walking, running, sports activities all can take a toll on your feet after a winter where activities are typically decreased.


When warmer weather approaches, try to gradually increase your activity levels. Don't go all out if you're planning your first run in the neighborhood. Start out slowly and increase your stamina. Get your joints used to a change in activity level. I see this often in my practice when seasons change. Particularly for children ages 8-12 who typically go through growth spurts, a dramatic change in activity often leads to aches and pains. This can occur in the knees, lower legs, ankles and heels. Ask Dr. Sands about Custom Orthotics that can help with these aches and pains. Very often they are covered by health insurance.


Foot and ankle sprains and strains go up dramatically in the Spring. Make sure your Spring shoes have good support for your increased activity. Also, make sure the shoes are activity-appropriate. Don't wear walking shoes for a jog or running shoes to play tennis.


With more activities outside, blisters are another common problem that occurs more often in the Spring. Making sure your shoes fit appropriately is super important. There is a misconception that wearing a shoe that is a half size larger is better. That is absolutely not the case. A shoe should fit your foot size. Too large a shoe can be as bad as too small a shoe. Larger shoes will allow your feet to piston back and forth inside them and that very often leads to blisters and damaged toenails. Make sure you get your feet measured whenever you purchase shoes.


People also like to wear closed shoes without socks when the weather warms up. This is BAD, BAD, BAD! Socks or peds drastically reduce the risk of developing blisters and infections, particularly athlete's foot! Always keep your feet covered in a closed shoe.


Infections


Springtime can also start the beginning of athlete's foot season. Warmer weather leads to increased perspiration inside closed shoes. Fungus that cause athlete's foot LOVE dark, warm, moist environments. A perspired foot inside a closed shoe is a perfect breeding ground for such infections. Keeping your feet dry in your shoes helps. Applying a drying powder such as Fortinia spray or Clean Sweep daily in the shoes will reduce microorganisms such as fungus, bacteria and viruses. Ask Dr. Sands about these products.


Barefoot walking is also a no-no. Lots of creepy crawlies can be found in the grass. Nematodes are common parasitic worms that are commonly found in grass and soil. They can work their way into your skin and begin to infest your blood and digestive tract. Pinworms actually cause over 42 million infections each year.

Author
David Sands, DPM

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