During the warm summer months, we spend much more time on our feet — from hiking, walking through the sand, and other outdoor activities. While you’ve probably been told time after time to pay extra attention to your skin during those months, the way you care for your feet is important too.
Giving your feet the attention they need can help you avoid many unpleasant infections and painful foot injuries. “Even if you are just lying still on your back soaking up the rays, your feet are still vulnerable,” American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA) member Jane Andersen, DPM told the APMA. “You can seriously sunburn your feet and no matter how upscale your hotel, athlete’s foot can lurk in all public pool areas.”
Fortunately, there’s ways to keep your feet healthy, so you’re able to enjoy all of your summer plans. Here’s 5 tips to avoid encountering foot problems.
Avoid Walking Barefoot
As tempting as it might be to kick off your shoes in the summer and let your toes hang free, it’s best to limit how often you walk barefoot. By not wearing shoes, you’re more likely to get sunburn, plantar warts, athlete’s foot, ringworm, and injure your feet, according to the APMA.
Be Cautious About Pedicures
Salon-polished toenails are a must for many people in the summertime, but Andersen recommends proceeding with caution. “Pedicures can be a source for real problems,” Andersen told Everyday Health. The tools can lead to nail fungus, wart viruses, and bacterial infections. A couple solutions are to consider bringing your own tool set or opt for a DIY-pedicure.
Wear Proper Footwear
Flip-flops and sandals are summer staples, but your feet don’t love them as much as you do. Instead of avoiding open-toe shoes completely, look for ones that offer more support to protect your feet when walking. Also, if you take a dip in the ocean, lake, or other body of open water, slip on a pair of water shoes. “These shoes offer some protection from hidden hazards and sharp objects, such as bottle caps, glass, coral, and even boardwalk splinters – all of which could be painful and dangerous if lodged in the foot,” James Ioli, DPM, told Brigham Health Hub.
Drink Water Throughout The Day
Water has a seemingly endless list of benefits, like improving skin complexion and flushing out toxins, but it also promotes feet health as well. Staying hydrated throughout the day can decrease swelling in your feet caused by the heat, according to the APMA.
Seek Medical Attention For Injuries
Just because your foot isn’t broken or sprained, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t seek medical attention. If you injure your foot on vacation, it’s best to seek out a podiatrist to begin treatment and avoid prolonging the effects of the injury.