Summer is just around the corner which means it’s time for pretty summer sandals and shoes. While you may be excited to bare your newly manicured tootsies this also means that your feet will be more vulnerable because they won’t be as protected as they are in the colder months. Here’s how you can protect your feet in the Summer while still having fun and looking stylish!
Your Feet Need Sunscreen Too
While many people use sunscreen they often forget to also put it on their feet. Skin on the feet can be especially sensitive because they are not often exposed to the elements and can sunburn and blister quite easily. Be sure to select a sunscreen that blocks both UVA and UVB rays.
Wear Shoes with Proper Support
People tend to bare more during the Summer for both clothing and footwear. Shoes and boots are traded in for sandals and flip flops. While these shoes are more comfortable in hot weather they usually don’t provide much foot support and could lead to gait, joint and back problems. Shoes without cushioning puts added pressure to your back with every step you take. They can also cause cracked heel skin and calluses. Try to select airy summer shoes that offer adequate ventilation but also provide support and cushion with comfortable fitting straps.
Keep Feet Clean and Dry
Bacteria and fungus thrive in damp, warm conditions so the additional perspiration in hot weather produces the ideal environment for bacteria to multiply quickly. Research has shown that your feet may come in contact with as many as 18,000 different types of bacteria after just a few days. This includes germs found in fecal matter, saliva and on skin, including Staphylococcus aureus, which can enter your bloodstream through a cut and cause very serious consequences.
If your feet stay moist for long, you risk skin problems on the sole of the foot and in between toes that can cause callouses. Be sure to leave shoes outside the home and wash feet with soap every day. A daily scrub with a pumice and some moisturizing cream will keep feet hydrated and soft.
Don’t Go Barefoot
Going barefoot exposes your feet to a mountain of risks. There are physical risks such as foreign objects, dirt, uneven surfaces and hot pavement/sand. There are also thousands of types of bacteria which could lead to a host of health issues. Minimize or eliminate barefoot time but if you do be sure to thoroughly clean and moisturize your feet afterwards.
Summer heat and dehydration can lead to ankle and foot swelling. Aim to carry water with you at all times, particularly if the weather is very hot, and drink often (even if you aren’t thirsty). If you do end up with swollen feet soak your feet for 15 minutes in ice water to reduce it. You may also want to take an over-the-counter anti-inflammatory, such as ibuprofen, to further reduce swelling.