During the summer months our feet typically get a lot more exposure to the elements. Due to the warmer weather we are often outside a lot more than those colder winter months and as a result wear more open toed shoes like thongs or sandals and for some people, barefoot! There are a few simple things you can do and look out for to ensure your summer feet are in the best condition possible and allow you to fully enjoy your summer!
7 Ways to Prep Your Feet for Summer
Here are 7 tips you should get started on now in preparation for this upcoming summer and should be continued all the way through to ensure those feet are kept in a good condition.
1. Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize.
Noticed that your skin feels dry or you have a long history of cracked heels? This is a good indication that your skin is lacking the moisture and hydration that it needs. A simple way to get your skin hydrated and silky smooth is to apply moisturiser to your feet daily. We suggest doing this after a shower so your feet are nice and clean before you get started. Gentle rub the cream into your foot but be careful not to get any between your toes as this can result in the skin in between macerating. Make sure you rub the lotion into the heel and soles of your tootsies until the skin is soft like a baby. We also suggest putting on socks as moisturiser can be slippery on surfaces like tiles and we don’t want the cream all over our furniture.
2. Get a pedi, if you dare.
Have you ever had your feet attended to? Have you been toying with the idea of having a pedicure? It’s a good idea to come in and have a medical pedicure to get your feet looking beautiful. Our podiatrists will thoroughly examine your feet, will cut and file the nails, remove any hard or dry skin, then massage moisturiser into the feet and nail oil into the sulci during a medical pedicure. They can also offer any advice specific to your feet to do at home.
3. Get rid of dry heels.
Your podiatrist will be able to remove any dry, hard, rough or cracked skin within a standard appointment or medical pedicure. If you are looking for a home solution then using a pumice stone or other callus removing device can be used once a week to help shed that unwanted skin and prevent the chance of cracked heels. Applying moisturiser daily is also essential to making this happen.
4. Trim toenails the right way.
Take care in cutting your toenails, make sure you keep them at a safe and comfortable length. Cut them straight across and avoid digging into the corners. It is best to cut them more frequently and leave them a touch longer to avoid cutting them too short and harming your skin.
5. Let your nails breathe.
Nail polish allows us to have some fun with bright colours, however by doing this all the time we don’t allow our nails to breathe. Having nail polish on all the time can lead to discoloration or a yellowish look to the nail. If you are going to wear nail polish then have a break from it every couple of weeks to avoid this from occurring.
6. Look out for fungal nails.
Noticed one of your nails has a funny appearance? Fungal nails are common and typically you can see areas of discoloration within them. It’s a good idea to book an appointment with a podiatrist as they can diagnose it and offer a variety of treatment options to get your nail back to being nice and healthy. Fungal nails take time to treat so get in as early as possible to have your summer feet ready, healthy and free from infections.
7. Pick the right flip-flops or sandals.
Many flip flops and sandals lack any support whatsoever but there are a few options that can. For flip flops, Archies are a great choice, you can find these below . https://www.footcentregroup.com.au/product/archies-thongs-with-arch-support/
With sandals looking for ones that have some form of arch support and having strong and supportive strapping to hold the foot in place. The great thing about flip flops and sandals are that they let our feet and toes breathe which helps keep them healthy but make sure they still provide some form of support. Take your sandals into your podiatrist and they can assess them for you.
Tips for Foot Health
1. Keep your feet cool and dry
With the weather typically being hot in summer, our feet tend to sweat a little more which can be an issue from an odor standpoint. The heat also creates a warm and moist environment which fungus and bacteria thrive in. It’s a good idea to take your shoes and socks off so that your feet can air out. You can also spray them with a hose or take a dip at the beach, then dry them off with a towel. A spare pair of socks is also a good idea if your going to be undertaken a day. This also helps to prevent the formation of a blister and those unwanted trips to the doctor.
2. Always wear appropriate shoes
Wearing thongs when going down to the beach is fine but if you’re going on a big walk then make sure you’re in a good pair of walking shoes. Trying to go a great distance in thongs can lead to sore foot muscles and also blistering. Be sure to wear a pair of socks when wearing shoes to reduce the chance of blisters.
3. Avoid infections
In summer we are at more risk of picking up an infection due to wearing more open toed types of footwear such as thongs. If you notice even the tiniest scratch or cut on your foot then we recommend covering it up with betadine and a bandaid as nasty bugs are always looking for a portal of entry. Wearing thongs in pool/gym/beach toilets and showers is also recommended as you don’t want to end up with an infection resulting in a wart. This goes without saying but make sure the socks you wear are clean ones, wearing dirty socks increases the chance of fungus and infections.
4. Slip, slop, slap or cover up
Sunscreen is so important given the strength of our sun. We always remember to cover our face, arms and legs but often the feet get forgotten. Your feet can also get sunburnt so if you’re going to be out in the sun trying to get a tan then make sure you apply sunscreen to your feet or keep them covered. Failing to do so can result in blistering and other effects of sunburn.
5. Don’t go barefoot
We all get tempted to not bother wearing shoes because of the heat. This potentially can be very problematic for a variety of reasons. Firstly, most of us don’t have the foot strength required to go for periods of time without shoes on which can result in a musculoskeletal injury to the foot.
We also don’t know what’s on the surface below us, so wearing a shoe can help to protect from unwanted pain. Broken glass and other foreign bodies could be hidden away amongst the grass or gravel you’re walking along. Not only will this result in pain but potentially can become infected. Think safety first, even for your feet before going barefoot. Also as we spoke about earlier with warts, they also sit on the surface in warm and moist environments.
Implement as many of these tips into your life as possible, your tootsies deserve some love and care. Even through the winter months these tips can be implemented to help support and treat our feet. Our podiatrist’s are only a phone call or email away if you require more information.
Make an appointment by clicking on this link: https://www.footcentregroup.com.au/book-online/ or by calling our Moorabbin clinic at 03 9553 0044, Edithvale at 03 9772 9579 and Malvern East at 03 9021 2067.