For Marylanders, summer is always a welcome change from the harsh winter. And your feet sure appreciate the break from winter boots and thick wool socks. However, just because the sun’s out, that doesn’t mean you can let your feet go unattended.
In fact, summer can be the most volatile time of year where your feet are concerned.
Dr. Kelly Geoghan and our podiatry team want to make sure you don’t look back at this summer wishing you’d taken better care of your feet. Here’s our best advice for keeping your toes, feet, and heels in tip-top shape in summertime.
Slather on the sunscreen
You rarely forget to apply sunscreen to your shoulders and face, but chances are you’ve been neglecting your feet and toes. Harsh UV radiation from the sun is just as much of a threat to the skin on your feet as the rest of your body, especially if you wear sandals or go barefoot a lot in summer.
So, double check that you’re putting a layer of sunscreen on your southernmost extremities — your feet will thank you, and you may even avoid obnoxious sandal tan lines.
Be careful about going barefoot
A highlight of summer is the feeling of grass between your toes on a warm sunny day. But remember that walking around barefoot leaves you vulnerable to cuts and scrapes, stubbed toes, and infections such as athlete’s foot, plantar warts, and toenail fungus.
Whether you’re planning a trip to the public pool or a hike in the woods, don a pair of protective footwear. Once you get home, head straight for the tub to wash your feet with warm soapy water. Grab a towel and make sure you dry your feet completely.
You can take it a step further and spray your summer shoes with a disinfectant, especially if your feet get sweaty.
Break in your new kicks
Did you treat yourself to a new pair of sandals for the summer season? Blister prevention should be a top priority.
Before you take them out on vacation, spend some time bending and stretching out your summer footwear at home first. Doing so helps you sidestep blisters, which can be painful and can lead to more foot problems if they become infected.
Mind your socks
The warmer summer months turn your feet into sweaty bacteria-breeding swamps. Make sure your socks are clean, dry, and designed to wick away moisture.
Staying hydrated is good advice in general, but it’s especially important for summertime foot care. It’s all too easy to get dehydrated in the summer, so drinking water or electrolyte-fortified sports drinks helps replenish your body.
Proper hydration promotes healthy blood flow, which is good news for your feet because they’re the farthest away from your heart and prone to circulation problems and swelling.
Summertime means sandals, which means your toes are on full display. You may have it in mind to head to the nail salon or do some DIY nail care, but whichever you decide, be careful to ensure all clippers and tools are properly sanitized. Fungus can spread quickly through nail care instruments.
Also, remember to remove nail polish once it’s started to chip or loses its shine to give your nail beds a break.
Do you want more great advice about caring for your feet this summer, or do you have some foot concerns you need addressed? Call our friendly staff in Lutherville, Maryland, at 410-753-4422, or use our online booking tool to schedule an appointment with Kelly Geoghan, DPM, today.