For most of us summer means kicking back and letting go of a lot of everyday stress. It also means sneaking out of the office early to get down to the beach to go for a swim, play a round of tennis, or go for a run. As a Seattle podiatrist it means keeping your feet safe as you enjoy the sand, sun, and the myriad of outdoor activities you'll engage in.
Here are 8 ways to keep your feet safe this summer in Seattle.
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. Here's a DIY pedicure that I would recommend.
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 that can affect any age group, apply sunscreen to the top, soles, and and inbetween the toes of your feet. Safer sunscreen products can be found by checking out the Environmental Working Group's safer suncreens.
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."
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 causes abrasions can lead to a nasty infection and ulcers. So wearing shoes at all times is a must for you.
Choose the Right Shoes for Your Activity
You wouldn't wear flip flops to play tennis because you know you'd lose the game. But it's also important to choose the right shoes and sandals for your activity. Take hiking for example. Be sure to understand the type of terrain you'll be on ahead of time. If the trails will be fairly easy without a lot of rocks and tree roots to scramble over you'll likely be most comfortable and have sufficient support in light trail shoe. Going to be doing scrambles and walking through a stream or two, you're going to want a boot that is more heavy duty to provide the support you'll need. Check out REI for how to choose hiking boots.
Your feet are more likely to produce extra sweat and stink 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.
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 Advanced Clincals Cracked Heel Rough Spot Cream.
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.
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Seattle foot and ankle specialist, Dr. Rion Berg offers foot care for patients with bunions, heel pain, diabetes, fungal toenails, ingrown nails, and surgical solutions when needed to residents of Seattle, Bellevue, Kirkland, Shoreline, Lake Forest Park, Mountlake Terrace, Lynnwood and other surrounding suburbs.