Ahhhhh summer holidays, a wonderful time of year when we can go footloose and fancy free!
However, it’s also a time when our feet are more exposed – and that can lead to all sorts of problems, so it’s important that you don’t neglect your foot care in summer.
Your Guide to Foot Care in Summer
- Pedicure Season. Foot care in summer can be a treat rather than a chore if you indulge in a pedicure, for a bit of pampering, polish and pretty feet.However as a foot care professional, I recommend being selective about where you get your pedicure done and choose a salon where hygiene is a top priority. I’m not a fan of the popular foot spa chairs, mainly because I can’t help but wonder what sort of bacteria could be lurking in the jets – even if basins are disinfected after each use.
- Flimsy Footwear. One of the delights of summer is ditching the constraints of everyday life, and that includes footwear. It’s a time to slip on a pair of thongs, or even go barefoot!Some people find they get sore feet and calf muscles after wearing thongs for a few days. This is usually because their feet are accustomed to a more supportive shoe (eg school shoes or fully enclosed footwear for work). The foot has to work a lot harder when wearing thongs, which can lead to muscle fatigue, aches and pains. You may find it more comfortable to wear supportive thongs by Orthaheel or Vionic, both of which are stocked at our Redlands podiatry clinic.
- Protect your Feet. Wearing open backed shoes such as thongs, slides and sandals allows the fat pad on your foot to spread, which can cause cracked dry heels. To avoid this painful as well as unsightly condition, apply a moisturising lotion such as sorbolene with Vitamin E cream before bedtime. And while we’re talking about lotion, don’t forget your feet whenever you use sunscreen – there’s nothing fun about sunburnt feet!
- Long Haul Travel. While it’s unlikely to happen anytime soon, I think we are all looking forward to a time when we can once again head overseas for a summer holiday! However these tips apply whether it’s a long haul flight or a cross-country drive: to avoid puffy sore feet, drink lots of water and make a point of doing a couple of simple exercises every hour or two to keep your circulation flowing. You can try ankle flexes and toe wiggles while seated – or go for a walk on your next comfort stop, and include a couple of calf stretches.We also recommend wearing compression socks to protect against DVT (deep vein thrombosis), especially if you are 40+. Not all compression socks are the same, so at Trevor Lane Podiatry we measure, fit and supply you with the ones that are most suited to your needs.
- Let’s Get Wet. We all know it’s a good idea to avoid going barefoot when showering in the amenities block at the caravan park. However I also encourage the use of footwear even around the pool at your luxury resort, to reduce the risk of picking up an unwanted souvenir like the plantar wart virus or tinea (athlete’s foot) …The humidity at this time of year means that tinea and other nasties can thrive, so it’s important to dry your feet thoroughly after showering or swimming. Make sure you dry in between each toe, and don’t share towels.
- Beach Feet. There’s nothing like the feel of wet sand between your toes – but it pays to be careful even at the beach, to avoid injury. That sand can be extremely H-O-T under foot, while cuts and scrapes from coral may become infected, taking weeks or even months to heal.
Foot care in summer doesn’t have to be a burden, a little consideration for those structures way down there and you’ll avoid an array of foot problems – because no matter how much you may like your local podiatrist, I’m pretty sure that you’d prefer not to have a reason to visit them during your summer holidays!