Summer time is upon us and our feet get to breathe outside of shoes! But this means there are a few things to consider for the summer. As a Podiatrist I see an increase of foot issues during summer. Here are the more common ones we treat.
One of the main issues with taking your feet out of shoes is an increase in load and stress on your feet. The result? Hardened heels caked with layers of dead skin. To soften, zero in on the area with a heavy-duty moisturiser formulated with vitamins A, E, and urea.
Calluses are a year-round problem that are much more prevalent in summer, especially given the surge in super-flat shoe wear. Calluses are typically formed at the soles as a byproduct of friction and pressure. Purchasing some Archies, thongs with arch support, may help take pressure off areas of your feet. Unlike closed shoes, Archies allow your feet to breathe while still maintaining adequate support.
Cracks and Fissures
When rough heels are left untreated, the skin will harden, grow thicker and eventually crack. You’ll immediately notice pain and some bleeding. Your first instinct might be to reach for a pumice stone or filer — don’t! Those devices easily house bacteria, and if you have cracks, they can cause infections. Pop in for a visit to your Podiatrist, our tools are always sterilised to a hospital grade and will prevent infection. Continue to moisturise your feet.
Blisters can develop from serious sunburns, or more likely from shoe pains . The best-case scenario is to let the blister heal on its own. Dab with antibiotic cream and cover with a Band-Aid. If you can’t resist popping it, then use a sterilised safety pin (heat the end) and drain the fluid. Do not remove the excess skin — it acts as a barrier to protect the fresh skin from infection. Dab antibiotic cream and cover it up.
Prevent blisters by stretching out sandals before use. Wear them with socks and walk around indoors to loosen them up. Or use foot balm to protect your skin from chaffing.
When it comes to sunscreen application, the tops of the feet are one of the most commonly missed areas. It’s crucial to apply a good sunscreen with SPF 50+ all over feet and toes. As for the soles, sunburns are rare since the skin is much thicker and denser. However soles can still succumb to burns, thanks to hot sand and asphalt. Wear protective footwear when you comb the beach or walk outside. Treat sunburn immediately with aloe vera and apply two or three times a day after.
If your feet are slipping and sliding in your sandals, sprinkle talc powder, or even good old-fashioned baby powder once or twice a day to wick away sweat. Sock-and-shoe wearers should avoid nylon and cotton socks, which tend to lock in moisture, keeping feet wet. Look for socks labeled as “moisture-absorbing” or “moisture-wicking” to keep perspiration at bay. Steigens socks are blister-free and moisture-wicking. They can easily be found at Boost clinic.
Where there’s sweat, there’s odor. The scent stems from bacteria breaking down the sweat, which tends to happen when feet are housed in less breathable socks and shoes. To prevent odor, prevent bacteria from breeding. This means keeping your feet dry at all times. Scrub — not soak — feet daily and dry thoroughly afterward. Make sure to pat dry in between toes.
Showing off your pedicure in your open-toed sandals and summer heels is flattering… until you see discolouration. All nail polish oxidises, so the lighter the polish, the more it will yellow. To conceal potential yellowing, opt for brights over pastels and limit chlorine and sun exposure. Steer clear of press-on nails, gels, and “instant dry” formulas, as the faster the lacquer dries, the more it malnourishes the nail.
If you still have concerns over your foot health this summer then book in with one of our Podiatrists. Our podiatrists can treat cracked heels, nail health, calluses and much more. Get your feet looked at now so you can go back out and enjoy the sun.