Arden Smith DPM, Fellow American college of Foot and Ankle Surgeons, Fellow American College of Foot and Ankle Orthopedics and Medicine
Cut Down on Blisters
New sandals often come at a steep price of painful blisters. The sores form from the chafing that happens when the shoe rubs up against the skin until it balloons out and fills with fluid to cushion and protect the deeper layers of skin underneath. The first step Is to buy shoes that are comfortable when you buy them and don’t need to be broken in. Look for soft fabrics or leathers and then take them for a test drive at home for an hour or so before you wear them outside to make sure that they stay pain-free. You can also try lining any painful spots with moleskin to prevent the friction that ultimately causes blisters.
But sometimes even seemingly comfortable shoes can cause problems. If you end up in pain clean the blister with the regular hand soap and try to leave it intact. If the pain is unbearable call our office to have one of our doctors puncture and aspirate the blister and drain the fluid out leaving the skin intact then apply some antibiotic ointment then cover with a Band-Aid until it is healed.
Prevent and Treat Dry, Cracked Heels
Wearing open back shoes, sandals or flip flops can spread the fat pad of the heel, causing the skin to crack. If you have any deep cracks where you can see dried blood, treat the heel with an antibiotic ointment and cover with a Band-Aid and follow up with one of our expert podiatrists at Advanced Podiatry. If you just have run-of-the-mill dry summer heels apply a moisturizer every day and run a pumice stone over them once or twice a week in the shower.
Dry cracked heels can also be a sign of a fungus, psoriasis, thyroid issues and diabetes. If you are concerned give our office a call and visit one of our expert podiatrists.
Rethink your flip-flops
Flip-flop season is a very busy season for our office-especially toward the end of the summer when everyone has been walking around in these terrible shoes.
Over wearing this summertime staple can cause stress fractures, heel pain, and tendinitis, and can exacerbate hammertoes. These are not shoes that you should be wearing from eight in the morning to eight at night-that’s not really what the shoes are made for.
Not all flip-flops are created equal-look for a pair with a thicker soul with arch support and the more straps the better, as they can reduce stress placed on the toes to grip the flip-flop so that it doesn’t fly off your foot. Reserve the ultrathin ones for the locker room or pool.
Proceed Barefoot With Caution
Walking barefoot might be one of the great joys of summer, but it can also put you at an increased risk of contracting wart viruses, athletes foot fungus, or bacteria which can cause a skin infection. All of these tend to thrive in a warm, moist environment, like a public pool. Going shoeless also raises the risk of picking up foreign bodies like stepping on glass or splinters. Even walking around barefoot at home can be problematic as you have no support on your feet.
Ease Sweaty Feet
For some people, high temperatures means sweaty feet, and all that moisture can increase the risk of picking up an infection. It’s best to wear socks that wick excessive moisture away, and change out of damp socks and sweaty sneakers as soon as possible.
One natural remedy is soaking your feet in cool black tea for 20 were 30 minutes. The tannins in the tea can decrease sweat production.
Get a Safe Pedicure
For many, polished toenails are a summertime staple-but some serious health risks might be lurking in the pedicure chair. Everything from the tools to that relaxing whirlpool soak can transmit nail fungus, wart viruses, and sometimes serious bacterial infections.
To stay safe, consider bringing your own tool set. Try to schedule your appointment in the beginning of the day when the technicians are less tired and the environment and equipment is a bit cleaner. Don’t shave or wax your legs for at least 24 hours before your appointment-hair removal can cause microscopic cuts increasing susceptibility to infection.
Watch Out For Germs
One study from the university of Miami found that a single pair flip-flops can harbor a whopping 18,000 bacteria, including the dangerous superbug Staphylococcus Aureus.
Walking the streets in open shoes can mean kicking up all sorts of debris including human vomit, feces, bird droppings and a whole host of other unappetizing things. Then when you take your shoes off and touch say your face, it becomes a repository for everything you brought in from the outside.
A few simple precautions can keep you safe-removing your shoes before entering the house and and washing your hands thoroughly-between 20 30 seconds-after you remove your shoes.
Feet Need Sunscreen Too
Don’t forget to put sunscreen on your feet. The same sun induced skin cancers that are common on other sun exposed areas on our bodies can also present on our feet.
Sandals Around the Pool
Last but not least we cannot forget about how hot the concrete or stone around the pool can get on a hot, sunny, summer day. These hot surfaces may lead to serious burns on unshod feet especially, but not limited to diabetics with neuropathy or peripheral vascular disease, people who are immunosuppressed, and people with impaired circulation.