Get your feet ready for the summer heat!
Feet problems tend to be more prevalent when the weather gets warmer. No one wants to spend their time at the podiatrists instead of the cool waters at the beach. Read on for some ways to prevent any future foot woes so that you can enjoy the summer without worries.
Deal with the rough spots
Open-backed sandals and flip-flops that rub around the edge of the heel often cause hard, cracked skin around the heels. If this occurs, gently rub the hard skin with a foot file, emery board, or pumice stone, then apply a rich moisturising cream to soften the skin. Do this regularly to ensure that you maintain soft smooth heels through the summer.
Take a break from nail polish
Like yourself, your nails need a break too. Do not to leave the same nail polish coat on all summer. Nail polishes act as a sealant and prevent the nail plate from breathing. They create dark and moist environments that are suitable for fungus to thrive in. Prolonged use of nail polish can also lead to the discolouration of nails. Hence, it is best to remove your nail polish completely after a few weeks of wear. Do go without nail polish for a couple of weeks before reapplication.
Keep your feet clear of infections
Fight the temptation of kicking off your sandals or slippers around public pools, toilets and even on carpeting. Protect your feet by wearing your shoes or flip-flops in the changing room and at the poolside. Dirty feet, splinters and stubbed toes are not the only concerns. Public pools, bathrooms and showers are breeding grounds for germs, bacteria, viruses and fungi.
If you have diabetes and are suffering from peripheral neuropathy (numbness or tingling in your feet), cuts or injury to the skin are less likely to be felt. Stepping on a thorn, glass, splinter or other foreign body, or rubbing from shoes may not be detected.
Avoid walking around barefooted and take extra care. Conduct daily foot checks to ensure your skin is intact and not broken. If you have a wound, clean it, and cover it with dressing to avoid contracting an infection.
Employ smart hygiene practices
It is important to keep your feet clean by washing them daily. Use a nail brush to clean under your nails and brush away dead skin on a regular basis.
If you have to wear socks in the hot weather, change them daily and choose ones that contains cotton or wool to keep your feet dry and stop them from smelling. Moisture wicking socks will be beneficial when exercising or for prolonged shoe wear, and provide a better environment for your feet in the summer heat.
If your shoes get wet or have been worn the whole day, dry them out completely before you wear them again to prevent bacteria or fungus from growing.
Choose your footwear wisely
Who would not want to wear less in the heat of summer? Sun-baring and light weight fabric choices are cooling. However, flip flops tend to be the least supportive summer footwear out there, and can lead to a variety of foot problems. Poor choices in footwear can lead to foot pain or other issues if your feet are not sufficiently protected or supported.
Flip-flops are fine for short-term use. They are good to wear at the beach, around swimming pools, in showers and locker rooms, and on short trips to the store. However, avoid wearing them for running, hiking, walking long distances, standing for prolonged periods or playing sports. Sandals may be a better option, but they do not provide as much support as runners if you are going to be active.
Unsure of what to do? Consult your podiatrist today for an assessment and recommendation.