If you live in Texas, then you probably already know what summer means. If you thought “four months of three-digit temperatures,” then you got it right!
Here, the “go big or go home” motto isn’t strictly applied to belt buckles and hats. The summer weather also closely follows this stipulation – so you better prepare for the heat!
Now, this may entail some vacation planning (maybe somewhere where the sun isn’t so unforgiving), cool picnics at the park, end-of-the-day beach walks, or just staying inside where the air conditioning will save you from the weather. Regardless of what your summer may bring, make sure you don’t forget about your feet!
Well, for starters your feet endure a lot of stress and impact, so taking good care of them should always be on your to-do list – no matter what time of year it is. But beyond that, whenever temperatures rise, so do the risks of foot and ankle injuries happening.
Indeed, the summer season may be an exciting time for you and your family, but your feet can easily fall prey to painful sunburns, blisters, calluses, puncture wounds, and many other complications that might force you to stay inside for the rest of the season (and you better hope that AC is working properly!).
The good news, however, is that Richardson Podiatry is here to help you prevent foot and ankle problems, as well as treat already-existing conditions that may be causing discomfort in your lower limbs.
In the meantime, let’s talk a little more about some of the most common foot problems we treat during the summer.
Texas Weather and Foot Problems
As Texans, we know that we are blessed in many ways – including beautiful weather. And throughout the year, our feet are inevitably exposed to some more-than-unwelcoming environments.
But with temperatures rising even higher, the chances of developing painful foot conditions (and even injuries) will naturally increase as well.
And if you think about it for a second, it makes complete sense. Wearing flip-flops or going barefoot (a common summertime go-to) leaves the feet exposed to bacteria and harmful objects. Not to mention all the physical activities Texans can participate in, which means more opportunities to develop injuries, too.
Because of this, many of our patients will visit our office with one – or even more! – of these problems:
- Heel pain
- Swollen feet
- Athlete’s foot
- Corns and blisters
As common and as easy to develop as these conditions are, there are many simple ways to prevent them from happening in the first place.
That takes us to our next point.
Preventing Foot Problems
As it is the case for most other health problems, prevention is key when it comes to foot conditions (no matter what time of year it is). And, fortunately, there are plenty of steps you can take in order to steer clear from annoying and even painful foot problems this summer.
Avoid going barefoot
We know walking barefoot can be quite tempting (especially when it’s so hot out!). But you should avoid doing so whenever possible.
Athlete’s foot, toenail fungus, and other common skin and nail infections can easily be picked up from public showers, locker rooms, and swimming pools. Being barefoot also increases your chances of injury, and it can cause foot pain in other ways, too – if you have normal or high arches, going without the arch support you would otherwise get in supportive shoes can be very uncomfortable and even lead to heel pain.
Wear the right shoes
Unsupportive flip-flops or sandals are the go-to types of footwear for many Texans. Unfortunately, they can cause foot pain and contribute to the development of serious problems (not only in your feet, but also your ankles, legs, and even back!).
Most flip-flops and sandals offer no heel or arch support and cause the forefoot to work harder to grasp the shoe in an attempt to keep the shoe on. Sometimes they may cause painful blisters, too.
Instead, look for sandals that offer support and protection to your feet, and make sure that the shoe stays in place whenever you take a step. Shoes that move around the feet a lot can easily lead to blisters, calluses and accidental falls.
Wear the right socks, too
Being mindful of what type of socks you use can mean the difference between having healthy feet and developing a nasty fungal toenail. To ensure that your feet are in a comfortable and safe environment (one that is moisture-free), opt for socks made of cotton or other moisture-wicking materials.
Also make sure to change your socks whenever they become damp – this could be every day or every hour. Either way, you should avoid letting your feet soak in their own sweat, where bacteria can fester and cause harm to your skin and/or nails.
Keep your feet moisturized
Dry skin can result in painful cracks and fissures in the skin. So, make sure to apply moisturizing lotion to your feet twice a day (preferably after thoroughly washing and drying them), and avoid those areas between the toes (moisture will pool in those spots, increasing your risk of developing a skin infection).
Trim your nails the right way
This is more important than you might think. Making sure your nails are properly trimmed will help prevent painful ingrown toenails from developing, as well as other unsightly infections from taking hold of your skin and toenails.
So, clip your toenails on a regular basis, and be sure to cut in a relatively horizontal fashion – not curved at the corners. You should also avoid cutting them too short or leaving them too long. And if you need to get rid of any sharp corners, use a nail file.
Need Help? We Are Here for You!
Now that you know how to best care for your feet, we certainly hope that you are able to steer clear from annoying, and even painful, foot problems this summer. But the reality is that these can sometimes happen despite all preventative measures taken. And if that is ever the case for you, then you can count on us to get your feet back on track!
All you have to do is schedule an appointment at our Richardson office by calling us at (855) 919-4548, or take advantage of our online request form to have one of our staff members reach out to you.