Summer is a time for rest and relaxation, but at First Coast Foot & Ankle Clinic we don’t ever want patients to take a vacation from healthy foot care. This time of the year comes with its own risks to your feet and ankles, but fortunately, there are simple steps you can take to ensure a fun and safe summer.
- Match your shoes with your activity. Flip flops are great for wearing around the pool, but not for a softball game at a family barbeque. If you have a walking day planned of shopping or site-seeing, choose a sturdy walking shoe. For sports, pick footwear specifically designed for your fitness activity.
- Be salon-savvy. If you enjoy professional pedicures, make sure the salon you go to maintains proper sanitizing standards. A certificate from the health department should be displayed in plain view. It’s also a good idea to take a break from polish periodically to give your nails a chance to breathe. Observe the condition of your bare nails. Discoloration, thickening or crumbling edges may indicate a fungal nail infection.
- Limit time spent barefoot. This will greatly reduce your risk of cuts and puncture wounds. It’s also a good way to decrease your chances of contracting a bacterial or fungal infection like athlete’s foot. Keeping feet covered is particularly important in public places like the pool, gym and beach changing rooms/restrooms. These are prime locations for infections.
- Remember the sunscreen. You should apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher to the skin on your feet as often as you do the rest of your body. It’s important to reapply after excessive sweating, swimming or every two hours—whichever comes first.
- Pay attention to foot pain. Heel pain may indicate too much time spent in flip flops that have no arch support. Changes in activity can also result in inflammation in the ball of the foot or your Achilles tendon. If you experience any unusual or uncomfortable symptoms, make an appointment promptly at our Duval County office. Putting off getting foot pain checked can lead to long-term problems. Our podiatrists Vimal A. Reddy and Dr. Jeffrey Brimmer will do a complete examination of your feet and diagnose any foot problems.