Summer is a time to kick off your shoes and enjoy those lazy summer days. Or is it? If you’re kicking off your shoes or swapping closed shoes for thongs, you could be opening yourself up to a host of summer foot problems.
Here are 5 common summer foot problems and how to avoid them.
Summer Foot Problem #1 – Swollen Feet
When the weather warms up, our bodies are prone to heat swelling. Common areas affected are the hands and the feet, and swollen limbs can be very uncomfortable.
Avoid It – Keep cool as much as you can and regularly soak your feet in cool or cold water.
Fix It – Make up an ice bath for your feet and soak them for 10-15 minutes. This should reduce the swelling significantly. If not, speak to your podiatrist and get the swelling checked out before it gets any worse.
Summer Foot Problem #2 – Sunburnt Feet
When summer rolls around, it’s time to crack out the sunscreen. While we usually smother our faces, shoulders and arms, often the lower part of our bodies is forgotten. This often means our feet are not protected from the harsh effects of the Australian sun.
Avoid It – Always remember to apply sunscreen all over your legs and feet if they are going to be exposed. In summer, we often wear thongs or sandals, so apply sunscreen whenever you’re wearing open shoes.
Fix It – Apply a soothing lotion to the affected areas. Aloe vera is great for sunburn.
Summer Foot Problem #3 – Cracked Heels
Wearing open shoes means your feet are exposed to the elements. As it’s much more common in summer than winter, cracked heels are one of the most common summer foot problems people experience.
Avoid It – Don’t wear open shoes for long periods of time. Balance your time in closed and open shoes. If you do wear open shoes, make sure you clean and moisturise your feet daily.
Fix It – Apply a heel balm to your feet as recommended by your podiatrist. This will help your feet to heal quicker (no pun intended!).
Summer Foot Problem #4 – Foot Infections
Another potential consequence of wearing open shoes often is the risk of foot infections. These could either be from injuring your foot or from picking up a fungal nail infection.
Avoid It – Never go barefoot in public areas or outdoors (e.g. parks and beaches).
Summer Foot Problem #5 – Foot Pain
While foot pain can strike at any time, there can be a spike in foot pain complaints over the summer months. Going barefoot can seem like a good idea when it’s warm, but this exposes you to potential hazards which could cause a foot injury.
Wearing thongs could also lead to foot pain, as they are not supportive at all.
Avoid It – Don’t wear unsupportive shoes for long periods of time. Make sure to switch to a supportive shoe for at least some of your day, especially when out and about.
Fix It – Choose a supportive shoe instead of thongs or strapless sandals. If there are any obvious signs of injury, it’s worth making an appointment with your podiatrist to get it looked at before it causes any further damage.