When summer comes, thoughts shift to lazy days outside, fun in the sun, beach vacations and all the outside activities become available. All of these things are great but there is a reality that many people are often unaware how feet can be affected in the summer heat.
With summer comes freedom for feet, as you are able to put away the snow boots and shoes and opt for light and airy sandals. Podiatrist, Dr. Harvey Danciger has treated many patients over the years whose feet have succumbed the dangers of summer. To prevent foot problems and keep your time in the sunshine to a maximum, there are some valuable and essential tips that are a must to follow.
Limit walking barefoot. If you are walking along a beach, wear sandals as even a small piece of glass or shell can cause a painful puncture wound. When around pools, waterparks or shower rooms, wear flip-flops or water shoes. This will decrease you risk of obtaining a fungal infection and warts.
Apply sunscreen to your feet. Feet are often forgotten when it comes to sunscreen and the skin cancer melanoma can develop on feet. In cases of melanoma, about 30% are found on feet and lower legs so the risk is real and serious. What often happens with melanoma on the feet is that by the time people notice it, it has already had a chance to progress significantly. An important thing to note is that melanoma can develop on places that don’t have as much exposure such as the soles of your feet, so apply your sunscreen liberally and all over.
Take care of sweaty feet. The summer heat can make everything sticky and sweaty and feet are no exception. There are over 250,000 sweat glands in each foot and hot weather makes feet perspire even more. If your feet sweat a lot and you are not giving them a chance to air or dry out, you increase your risk for Athlete’s foot, smelly feet and toenail fungus. Change your footwear daily, clean feet every day and see Dr. Danciger if your sweaty feet are becoming a problem in the heat.
Drink plenty of water. This naturally happens when hot weather as your body needs to replenish the water it loses through perspiration. For feet though, staying hydrated will help minimize any swelling that may happen due to the heat.
Be on high alert if you have diabetes. Foot care is essential anytime of the year if you have diabetes but the summer can bring a different set of risks. The lack of circulation or neuropathy that often occurs with diabetes inhibits your ability to feel heat. This can lead to dangerous burns and blisters on the feet. Feet swelling in shoes can lead to blisters and wearing flip-flops can cause feet to lose moisture, which can lead to dry, cracking skin. All of these can be small problems that turn dangerous very quickly for someone with diabetes.
Don’t let foot pain ruin your fun in the sun. Follow these tips and keep feet safe and healthy. If you sustain an injury or the flip-flop season is giving you foot pain, don’t wait to have it treated by Dr. Danciger. Call our office at (760) 568-0108 or visit our homepage to make an appointment.