Summer is upon us! It doesn’t take long to figure that out as soon as you step out the door. As the temperature continues to rise, so do common foot problems such as dry cracked skin, fissures, fungal infections, etc. So how can you avoid some of these summertime setbacks? Here are five tips to help you keep your feet healthy and happy.
Proper Shoes: Choosing the right shoes for your summer adventures is critically important for ensuring proper care of your feet. Often the shoes you choose are activity specific, but be sure to choose shoes that have good arch support and whose sole is not too flexible so as to supply the proper support. The general rule is that if you can fold your shoe in half, it probably isn’t supplying the optimal support. Also try to find shoes that provide adequate ventilation and airflow to help reduce the temperatures inside the shoe. In addition, limit flip-flop use as they do not provide adequate arch support and can result in cracking of the skin due to excessive dryness.
Socks: Change and Wash your socks! Enough said right? If you do not regularly put on fresh socks, you are establishing the perfect environment for fungal infections such as athlete’s foot (tinea pedis) or toenail infections such as toenail fungus (onychomycosis).
Foot Hygiene: Keeping your feet clean sounds like a no brainer, but they are often overlooked. Make sure that you pay particular attention in between the toes and around the toenails. After washing them, it is important to be sure that they are properly dried. Applying a moisturizing cream or lotion can also be helpful in preventing painful cracks and fissures.
Topical Antifungals/Powders: Some of the most frequent complaints during the summer months are fungal infections like athlete’s foot as well as “smelly” feet. It can often be helpful to apply a topical antifungal or an over the counter foot powder to help prevent these issues. Powders can help to diminish the moisture inside the shoe and also help to diminish foul odor. It is important to note that if you do have a current nail fungal infection or a severe case of athlete’s foot, topical antifungals may not be effective and an oral prescription from your podiatrist may be necessary.
Protect your feet: No doubt the summer holds many exciting activities, be sure to be mindful of which precautions to take for each activity. For example, when at the swimming pool, apply sunscreen to your feet, they burn too! Also, if at a public pool, beach, or locker room, consider wearing sandals, flip flops, or water shoes to avoid contracting fungal/bacterial infections and to prevent any injury.
In the event you do experience some foot and ankle midsummer misfortune, feel free to make an appointment with Dr. Gary N. Friedlander or Dr. Jay C. Larson at Sole Foot and Ankle Specialists in Glendale, Arizona.