With the summer months soon approaching, your feet will need additional care to keep them healthy through the warmer weather.
Although with the current COVID 19 outbreak many of us will be avoiding being outdoors for long periods of time, those who are able, will probably be spending longer outside in their gardens in the sun, and so special care needs to be taken with our skin, and that includes the skin on our feet.
Here are some helpful tips on keeping your feet healthy during the warmer conditions:
- Moisturise – Feet dry out more in the summer partly because we are not wearing socks as much as in the winter, and because of more exposure to heat. It is not uncommon to see people with very dry feet and badly cracked heels during the summer months. To avoid this, the application of a good quality foot cream in the morning and before you go to bed, will rehydrate the feet and prevent unsightly and uncomfortable dryness. For particularly dry feet a Urea based foot cream is advised.
- Use Sunscreen – Don’t forget to put loads of sunscreen on the exposed part of your feet as well as the other exposed areas of your body. Be sure to reapply frequently if you are using an outdoor pool or sweat excessively.
- Stay Hydrated – Drinking plenty of water will help prevent skin from becoming dehydrated, and will help reduce foot swelling due to the heat.
- Avoiding Walking Barefoot – Walking around barefoot especially outdoors increases the risks of injury to the feet, it is easy to step on something sharp and cut the feet, this is particularly important for people with diabetes. If you do have a superficial injury to the foot, then clean them with some warm salt water, and put a dry dressing on the injured area. Always keep an eye out for signs of infection after a foot injury, such as swelling, redness and pain. Walking barefoot also increases the likelihood of picking up a fungal infection such as athlete’s foot or warts such as verrucae.
- Socks – For those people who suffer from excessive sweating of the feet in the heat, acrylic or synthetic blend socks work best to wick away perspiration on the feet rather than trap it. Excessive moisture on the feet from sweating can encourage fungal infections.
- Preventing Blisters – As we move away from our winter shoes into summer shoes and sandals, which will often have thinner soles and straps, we can become susceptible to blisters occurring from rubbing. If you feel a blister starting, protect the area with a dry dressing or plaster. If you develop a blister that is painful, then you can carefully puncture the blister, leaving the roof of the blister on, and let the fluid come out. Then dress the blister with a dry dressing or plaster.
- Flip-flops – Some styles of flip-flops can lead to sore feet and ankles. Try to look for flip-flops that have good arch and heel support, and avoid walking any long distance in them.
- Remove Nail Polish Periodically – Nail polish should be removed for a few days a month to prevent discolouration, and also to inspect the nails for any signs of fungal infection, which can be masked by the nail polish.
These are just a few basic things that can make your feet more comfortable during the summer months.
I hope this helps. Stay Safe, Stay Well.
Sam Moore Podiatrist at Body Consultancy