Whether you're heading to the pool, beach, or lakefront this summer, before kicking off your shoes, make sure you know how to protect your feet from potential hazards.
The board-certified podiatrists at Optima Foot and Ankle in Bend, OR, want to ensure your feet stay happy and healthy all summer long. To that end, they offer the following tips.
1. Limit walking barefoot
Going barefoot exposes your feet to potential dangers. You can easily sunburn your feet and pick up infections like athlete's foot, plantar warts, and ringworm. Walking barefoot also leaves your feet vulnerable to injuries. So, slip on shoes or flip-flops when you're around the pool, at the beach, in the locker room, or even in your hotel room.
2. Apply sunscreen
You know the importance of slathering your face and body with sunscreen but don’t forget your feet. The tops and fronts of your ankles are particularly susceptible to sunburn. Remember to reapply after you've been in the water, as water can wash away the sunscreen.
3. Stay hydrated
Drink plenty of water throughout the day. It’s essential for overall health and helps prevent foot swelling caused by heat. Dehydration can lead to discomfort and even cramping in your feet.
4. Keep the blood flowing
Long periods of sitting or lounging can cause your feet to become stiff and swollen. So periodically flex those ankles, wiggle your toes, and stretch your calves.
5. Pack appropriate footwear
Some summer activities require specific types of footwear. Before you embark on any adventure, make sure to inquire about the recommended shoes. It's always smart to pack an extra pair of sneakers or protective water shoes in case your shoes get wet. Be sure to dry wet shoes thoroughly before wearing them again to prevent the growth of bacteria or fungus.
6. Check your feet
If you’re diabetic, check your feet daily. Inspect for any signs of a problem, such as blisters, sores, or ingrown toenails. Contact your podiatrist at Optima Foot and Ankle at the first sign of a problem.
7. Seek professional help if needed
If your feet get sunburned, apply aloe vera or Silvadene cream. Keep your feet cool by placing a cold compress or soaking them in cool water. Over-the-counter pain relievers like Motrin or Advil can help ease any discomfort, too. Remember to stay out of the sun until your feet have fully healed.
If you do injure your foot or ankle, seek medical attention immediately. Call or click online to schedule a visit with a board-certified podiatrist at Optima Foot and Ankle.