With COVID restrictions lessening and the weather improving, it is now time to get out and enjoy summer! There are a myriad of techniques and tips you can use to get your feet cosmetically and physically optimized so you can enjoy the sun safely. One easy way to improve foot hygiene is by keeping your feet dry. Fungi and bacteria that cause skin conditions such as athlete's foot colonize moist environments like the web spaces of the feet. Aside from being aesthetically displeasing, athlete's foot can cause excessive itching, bleeding, and can spread to other parts of the body. By keeping your feet dry, you can prevent these microorganisms from growing. Be sure to change socks frequently, especially after exercising. After a shower, it is important to dry your feet completely and not leave any droplets in the web spaces. If needed, apply a drying agent such as talcum powder to your feet.
For fellow fitness enthusiasts that tend to increase their physical activity during the summer – be sure to stretch both before and after exercising. Prior to a workout, you should try performing dynamic stretching, which is an active type of movement focused on getting the body warmed up such as high kicks or lunges with core twists. When the workout is over, focus on classic static stretches. The goal of static stretching is to hold the stretch for an extended period of time. This lengthens the muscle-tendon complex that is being stretched and helps to prevent soreness and injury post workout. Examples of static stretching include runner’s stretch for the calf muscles or seated butterfly stretch for the hips This combination of pre exercise dynamic stretching and post exercise static stretching can prevent muscle soreness and common ankle and foot injuries such as plantar fasciitis, shin splints, and achilles tendinitis.
Lastly, when you are applying sunscreen to prepare for a day outside, do not forget to apply to your feet. This is one area that is often neglected, but a sunburn of the foot can be devastating. Although the top part, or dorsum, of the foot is most susceptible to sunburns, it is important to apply lotion to the sole of the foot as well.
The best way to manage foot infections, exercise injuries, and sunburns is through prevention. However, if you do develop any of these common ailments of the foot and ankle, please do not hesitate to contact one of our offices for consultation.