Tips for Perfect Summer Feet
Summer is here and with the weather improving it is time for our feet to come out of hibernation and into the sunshine! If you are anything like the majority of people, your feet have probably been hidden away and neglected in shoes and socks all winter. As a result it can be challenging to keep them looking at their best.
With the hot heat and dryness comes a wide range of foot problems including hard callused skin, cracked heels, corns, fungal nail infections and weeping itchy blisters.
So, here are some tips to help you protect your feet from the elements ensuring they stay picture perfect for the entire summer.
Remove Hard Skin & Moisturise
Sounds simply enough! Our feet work hard all day but most of us take very little notice of them and during the summer months they tend to dry out very quickly. Hard, cracked skin around the heels is very common in summer, often caused by open-backed sandals and thongs rubbing around the edge of the heel. The soles of our feet are protected by thick skin, much thicker than most of the skin around other parts of the body, including our hands and face. This means that it's less penetrable and it'll take a little more effort, or a stronger cream, to lock moisture in.
To help during the warmer weather, use a foot file / emery board / pumice stone to gently rub away the hard skin followed by applying a rich moisturising cream such as Urea15. This should be done at least every second day.
Blisters are extremely prevalent in the hotter weather. They are caused by friction and rubbing and are most commonly seen between the 1st and 2nd toes in people that are wearing thongs. The keys to preventing nasty summer blister include keeping your feet dry, wearing shoes or sandals that fit well and aren’t too loose, and giving your feet ample rest so they don’t get hot and sweaty.
If you do get a blister, never de-roof it as this can lead to a serious infection; seek professional advice from your podiatrist.
Your feet have more sweat glands than any other part of the body. To prevent excessive sweating it is important to wash your feet daily in warm, soapy water then dry them thoroughly. Tea tree oil spray can also be applied daily to help dry out the foot and prevent any sweat related fungal infections including tinea from occuring.
Prevent Foot Infections
The floors of communal showers and changing rooms at gyms and swimming pools are hot spots for infections such as athlete’s foot (tinea) and verrucas (warts). Do not wander around public pools barefoot; protect your feet by wearing sandals or thongs in the changing room and at the pool edge.
The Great Aussie Thong
We understand as podiatrists that when the summer arrives, people are naturally going to opt for lightweight footwear, mainly thongs and sandals.
Aches and strains in the feet can be more common in the summer as you may go for longer than expected walks in these unsupportive shoes. Due to the lack of support and structure of these shoes it is recommended that you regularly change your footwear as overuse can lead to numerous foot and lower limb ailments and injuries. Alternatively there are now a variety of sandals and thongs with “built in” support which can be worn for longer periods. These will help to stabile the feet and prevent pains in the arch of the foot commonly arising when wearing flat shoes.
It is recommended that you do not wear the same pair of shoes every day; they should be rotated so you can wear a different pair each day of the week.
Daily Sock Changes
If you have to wear socks in hot weather, change them at least once a day. Always choose socks that are 100% cotton or wool as these will keep your feet dry as well as stopping them from smelling. Avoid nylon socks as these aggravates the heat and sweat and are a leading cause of fungal infections and blisters.