image with three sunsIt's June! We finally have a good dose of sun and we're ready to embrace all the pleasures of the season. To do so we need to keep our feet pain-free and in tip top shape to last us the rest of the summer. Perhaps you already have orthotics to keep your feet in balance or you've been to the office to alleviate an ingrown toenail. 

Here are eight great tips to ensure your feet stay safe while you take in all the Pacific Northwest has to offer. 

1. Do-It-Yourself Pedicures

It's hard to know if a nail salon is being consistent about cleaning their tools and keeping their whirlpools clean. That's why a DIY pedicure is definitely the way to go if you want to avoid the risks that salon pedicures can bring; most frequently toenail fungus. But if you still want to get your nails done professionally here are "10 Hacks for Avoiding Fungus in a Nail Salon".

2. Lather Suncreen On Your Feet

As you lather on the sunscreen, don't skip your feet. If found on the feet, malignant melanomas are usually in more advanced stages. To avoid this deadly cancer, apply sunscreen to the top, soles, and in between the toes of your feet. Safer sunscreen products can be found by checking out the Environmental Working Group's safer sunscreens.

3. Wear Flip Flops to the Beach and Pool Only

I know it's all the rage to wear your flip flops everywhere these days. But unfortunately, flip flops can leave your feet in a heap of pain due to their total lack of support. Common problems are heel pain, sprained ankles, more rapid bunion and hammertoe formation, cracked heels, blisters, and stress fractures. So do yourself a favor, keep your flip flops for the beach and pool and wear sandals and shoes appropriate to your activity. Some great alternatives to flip flops are featured in our video "How To Choose the Right Flip Flops for Your Feet."

4. Avoid Going Barefoot

Although you just love taking off your shoes and sandals in the summer, try as much as possible to avoid going barefoot. There are just too many hazards laying around for your feet to find. Hanging out on your neighbor's deck -- splinters; walking on the sidewalk -- glass and nails; hanging out in parks -- used syringes. If you have diabetes, stepping on anything that can penetrate your foot or cause abrasions can lead to a nasty infection and ulcers. So wearing shoes at all times is a must for you.

5. Choose the Right Shoes for Your Activity

You wouldn't wear flip flops to play tennis because you know you'd lose the game. Choosing the right shoe for your activity is also important to prevent foot and ankle problems. 

Take hiking for example. Learn the type of terrain you'll be on ahead of time. If the trails are fairly easy without a lot of rocks and tree roots try a light trail shoe. Planning to scramble and walk through a stream or two? Choose a boot that's heavy duty to provide the support you'll need. Check out REI for how to choose hiking boots.

6. Remedies for Your Sweaty and Stinky Feet

Our feet sweat and stink more in the summer. Several things can really help.

  • Start by preventing the sweat and stink to begin with by boiling up some black tea, let it cool, and soak your feet for 30 minutes. The tannins in the tea can decrease sweat production. Do this on a daily basis.

  • Wear socks that wick away moisture. Look for fibers that do this best including Merlino wool, polypropylene, or polyethylene.

  • Use an ultraviolet shoe sanitizer such as Pedifix Shoe Zap to kill almost all of the bacteria and fungus that cause shoes to smell.

7. Dry, Cracked Heels       

With backless sandal wear come dry and cracked heels. Of course you can also experience dry and cracked heels for other reasons including aging and diabetes. Use a creme such as Gormel with 20% Urea.

8. Take Off Your Shoes and Sandals At the Door

We bring in all kinds of muck from outside that's filled with bacteria and fungus. The healthiest thing to do is to take off your shoes or sandals at the door. Put on shoes, sandals, or slippers that never leave the house. It's also best to wash off your hands right afterwards to prevent spreading germs around your house.

Call us today at 206-368-7000 for an appointment, often same day. You can also request an appointment online.


Dr. Rion Berg
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A podiatrist in North Seattle treating families for over 40 years.
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