Whether you’re walking on the beach, wandering your local park or enjoying your own backyard, going barefoot is one of the simple pleasures of summertime.
But bare feet need to beware. Cuts, puncture wounds and other barefoot injuries are waiting to happen.
To keep yourself and your feet safe this summer, keep reading!
A puncture wound can embed unsterile foreign objects deep inside your foot and trap bacteria.
A puncture wound must be cleaned properly and monitored throughout the healing process. This will help to avoid complications, such as tissue and bone infections or damage to tendons and muscles in the foot. You should see your podiatrist, or if it is after-hours, go the emergency room. Do not delay in getting care.
Apply Sunscreen to the tops and bottoms of your feet. Many people are surprised to learn that skin cancer, including the most serious form, melanoma, does occur on the feet. In fact, melanoma of the foot is very dangerous because people rarely think to look for it on their feet which may result in a later-stage diagnosis. If you see any odd marks or unusual blemishes on your feet, be sure to see your podiatrist.
In Phoenix where our temperatures are well over 105 all summer, burns injuries to the soles of the feet may occur. Protect your feet from hot surfaces especially concrete, pavement, stones, and pool decking. If you develop a burn noted by redness, blistering, or worse breaks in the skin see your podiatrist without hesitation. For weekend or after hour injuries go the emergency room.
Wear flip-flops or sandals around swimming pools, locker rooms and beaches. It’s best to keep your feet protected to avoid cuts and abrasions from rough surfaces and sharp objects hidden beneath sandy beaches and to prevent contact with bacteria, fungus or viruses that can cause athlete’s foot, plantar warts or other problems.
Inspect your feet and your children’s feet for skin problems. Going barefoot can increase your risk for athlete’s foot, warts, calluses and other skin problems. Inspect your feet (and your kids) regularly for any changes or signs of problems. The earlier a skin condition is detected, the easier it is to treat.
Sadly, every year, people lose toes while mowing the lawn barefoot. Others suffer serious burns from accidentally stepping on stray campfire coals.. Murky rivers, lakes and ponds can conceal sharp objects underwater.
People with diabetes should never go barefoot, even indoors, because their nervous system may not “feel” an injury and their circulatory system will struggle to heal breaks in the skin.
Remember, any type of foot or ankle pain is never normal. A podiatrist can examine your feet and give you the best course of action.