Although summer brings lots of opportunities for fun activities it also can be a time of increased risk for certain common foot problems. At New England Foot & Ankle Specialists we want all of our patients to enjoy their fun in the sun and keep feet safe and healthy. Here are some common problems and what to do about them:
Problem: Sunburn—the skin on your feet is just as susceptible to sun burn as the rest of your body. Sunburn on your feet increases the risk of certain types of skin cancer as well.
Solution: Apply sunscreen liberally to your feet with the same frequency that you apply to other areas on your body. Make sure that even on days when you are just out running errands that you have sunscreen on your feet if you are wearing open shoes.
Problem: Blisters—new shoes purchased for vacation or long hikes are just a couple of reasons why you may end up with a blister this summer. Also, sweaty skin tends to increase friction with footwear making blisters more likely.
Solution: Be sure that shoes fit properly and feel comfortable when you buy them. Shop at the end of the day when feet are at their largest to avoid surprises later. If you do feel that the skin in one area is getting irritated, apply moleskin to protect that spot and try not to wear the same pair of shoes again for a few days.
Problem: Sprains—in the summer, people are more likely to spend time in flip flops or other footwear that doesn’t provide good ankle support. Also, impromptu games of beach volleyball or softball at the family barbeque can lead to sprains or other injuries.
Solution: Wear the right shoes for the activity you are engaged in. When in doubt, pack a pair of sneakers or other shoes that support your ankle and don’t play sports, hike or do other activities without the appropriate footwear.
Problem: Fungal Infections—public pools, beach changing rooms and other damp places where people go barefoot are perfect breeding grounds for bacteria and fungi.
Solution: Always were flip flops or shower shoes when walking in public places.
If you have a foot mishap this summer, contact our Reading office for an appointment. Prompt treatment by one of our podiatrists: Dr. George A. Abboud, Dr. Brian D. Tedesco, Dr. Carl Conui, or Dr. Kimberly Thurmond will bring relief and help you avoid bigger problems down the road.