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05
Dec

Common Summer Foot Problems to Avoid

The hot weather has finally arrived – Hooray!! I hear you cheer – It’s great news for getting out and about, but beware, there are several common foot problems that I consistently see over the summer months that need some thought & planning so as not to ruin your Christmas holiday.

Heel Pain – hotter weather means lighter, more open shoes with plenty of opportunities to keep our feet cool e.g. thongs, sandals, ballet flats etc. The flip side of this is these footwear options are much less supportive and provide less protection for our foot particularly our heel.

Solution

  • Gradually ease into your summer shoes building up the wearing time by 1 hr each day.
  • Start doing some gentle ankle strengthening exercises such as slow heel lifts, toe scrunches & balance drills to speed up the transition process
  • For longer periods on your feet put on supportive footwear/ runners.
  • If Heel Pain persists, seek some professional advice.

Dry Cracked Heels – with open backed shoes & often no shoes around the house our skin dehydrates and can crack and split, especially around the heels. This is particularly painful if the cracks begin to bleed.

Solution

  • Use a moisturizing cream at least twice a week to hydrate your skin.
  • Use a pumice stone or file on your heels in the shower to keep the superficial dry skin as thin as possible.
  • Use shoes with enclosed heels to prevent moisture loss.

Blisters – the nicer weather means we tend to be more active than we are during the winter months, getting outdoors, attending festivals, playing in the park & taking excursions to the beach. This increased activity puts our feet under more strain than they are used to & ill-fitting shoes can cause the skin to rub or even tear.

Solution

  • Always wear socks
  • Plan ahead and wear the right shoes for the activity you’re doing i.e. hiking or trail shoes for a bush walk, enclosed shoes for a festival, sandals or supportive thongs for the hot sand at the beach
  • Throw a pair of runners in your bag/car as insurance that you can slip on if you’re not sure how long you’ll be on your feet

Nail Care – Increased nail exposure during warmer months due to the open footwear we choose, means it’s more likely to develop a fungal nail infection. Other causes are the increased amount of sweat in our shoes and visiting places like public swimming pools.

Solution

  • Cleaning your feet regularly & thoroughly especially after visiting local pools or showers. Drying between your toes is important to avoid tinea.
  • Making sure your nails are properly clipped & maintained will help prevent infections or nail deterioration. Make sure you clip straight across the end of your nail to avoid nails in-growing.
  • Any suspect looking skin or nail get it checked out professionally.

Summary 

Summer is one of the best times of the year, but make sure you plan ahead to avoid any pitfalls that might make being outdoors and active a painful experience.  Footwear, general skin & nail maintenance, and some professional advice will keep you out of the medical rooms and enjoying the sunshine & balmy nights.

Learn more about Ben Holland by visiting http://opsmc.com.au/person/ben-holland/ 

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