How to have healthy feet in the summer

Young women's legs splashing water in a swimming poolThroughout the year, but particularly during the summer months of increased sun, heat and humidity, we must make sure we take care of two of our most utilized, but underappreciated assets: our feet.

You want your feet healthy to enjoy an active summer with time at the pool, river, or beach, or to take a stroll through your vacation destination or your neighborhood.

We are not going far without healthy feet and, with some simple steps to take care of them, we can keep them in good condition and keep us on the move.

Some tips for keeping your feet healthy during the summer include:

  • Like the rest of your skin, your feet are vulnerable to sunburn. Do not forget your feet when you lather yourself and your family in sunscreen.
  • Keep your feet as dry as possible. Wear drying or absorbent socks. Dry your feet after washing them and other times they are wet. Fungi can grow if there is moisture between your toes and elsewhere on your feet.
  • Wash your feet daily. Scrub them and clean between your toes.
  • Make sure your footwear fits properly. Along with being uncomfortable, wearing tight footwear can lead to multiple problems. You can better avoid blisters by wearing comfortable, appropriate, well-fitting footwear.
  • Wear breathable shoes.
  • Wear appropriate footwear for your activities. Some footwear can add to the difficulty of walking, increasing the possibility of injury, and lead to foot health issues. The American Podiatric Medical Association has these tips for selecting the right sandals, wedges, heels and other footwear.
  • Over-wearing flips-flops can damage your feet. They do not provide a lot of support and most are not intended for long walks. They are great by the pool.
  • Try to limit walking barefoot because of possible injury, sunburn or infection from various sources, according to the American Podiatric Medical Association.
  • Wear footwear as much as possible in public areas including around pools, locker rooms and showers. You might be sharing a locker room, but you don’t want to share athlete’s foot.
  • Keep your toenails trimmed and cut them straight across.
  • Look at your feet regularly and be aware of any potential concerns. Address any peeling, scaling, growth and abnormal colors on your skin or under your toenails. If there are persistent concerns or pain, please contact your doctor.
  • Allow shoes to air out after wear and, if your footwear gets wet, allow them to dry before wearing again.
  • As with all other activities, stay hydrated. Drink plenty of water.

The American Podiatric Medical Association has some more tips for foot health here.

Looking for a podiatrist? Check out UofL Physicians – Podiatric Medicine & Surgery.