As the warmer weather starts to breakthrough, it’s time to dump the winter boots and start enjoying a sock-free summer! For every season, our podiatrists like to offer a small set of suggestions to help keep your feet happy and healthy!
No Barefoot Walking – While walking around barefoot may be an enjoyable act of the warmer weather, it unfortunately puts you at risk of stepping on a foreign body (especially items buried/hidden in the sand and water) or developing an infection. Bacteria thrives in warm, moist environments, such as public pools or restrooms, and going barefoot makes you susceptible to contracting fungal infections, plantar warts, or athlete’s foot. Also, if you plan to be near an open grill or fireworks, since a minor spark can cause a serious burn, be sure to wear protective shoes.
Apply Sunscreen – Many people tend to skip over their feet when it comes to applying suntan lotion, but it’s extremely important to protect your feet and ankles from the sun’s harmful UV rays. With more than 3.5 million skin cancers diagnosed annually in the United States, survival rates are dramatically lower when melanoma is found on the foot because it often goes unnoticed until it becomes a serious problem. If not caught in the early stages, the fatality rate is about 50% within 5 years of diagnosis.
Change Up Your Shoes – It may be hard to resist the appeal of flip-flops during the summer, but constant wear can cause serious damage if they don’t provide good arch support. Rule of thumb: if you’re able to bend your shoe in half, it doesn’t provide enough support! Our office suggests custom-molded Birkenstocks during the summer, which are available in our office.
Also, if your shoes happen to get wet (most commonly at the pool or beach), make sure to dry them out completely before wearing them again to prevent bacteria and/or fungus from developing.
See Your Podiatrist – Most people tend to neglect their feet during the winter as they’re frequently hidden behind bulky socks and shoes, but as soon as summer hits, it’s common to find that fungal nails, calluses, and/or dry, cracked skin have developed. So, please be mindful of your feet and be careful! We see a lot of patients who have twisted their foot/ankle (especially stepping off boats and porches), stepped on something outside, or developed foot pain from not wearing supportive shoes.
To learn more about summer foot care, feel free to contact our office at (248)348-5300 or request an appointment on our website. Our podiatrists, Marc A. Borovoy, DPM, and John D. Miller, DPM, are experts in all areas of foot and ankle care, and will be happy to assist you with any problems you may be experiencing.