All Toes on Deck: Tips for Protecting Feet from the Heat
Protect Feet from the Heat! One perk of a beach-bound vacation is knowing that instead of snow soaking through your shoes or having your feet feeling toasty in sweaty UGGS, you can lounge happily with your toes dangling in the warm weather, shoe-free with the sand at your feet. But alas, the dream does come with its own set of tootsie troubles.
“Your feet are still vulnerable even if you are soaking up some rays while just lying on your back,” says American Podiatric Medical Association member, Dr. Afsana Qader. “Prolonged periods of sun exposure can seriously sunburn your feet and public pool areas can be ripe with fungus and viruses.”
Wouldn’t you rather spend time collecting seashells than doctor’s bills? No worries. There are ways to prevent these future foot predicaments so you can go back to your sun-kissed dreams and enjoy a liberated foot experience.
- Limit walking barefoot as it exposes feet to sunburn, as well as ringworm, athlete’s foot, plantar warts, and other infections and increases risk of injury to your feet.
- Wear flip flops or shoes to the beach, around the pool, in the locker room, in your hotel bathroom, and on the carpeting in your room to limit the likelihood of contracting any bacterial infections and prevent injuries.
- Remember to apply sunscreen all over your feet, especially the front and top of feet and ankles. Don’t forget to reapply after you’ve been in the water.
- Drink plenty of water throughout the day to stay hydrated. This will minimize any foot swelling caused by heat and help with overall health.
- Keep blood flowing with periodic calf stretches, toe wiggles, and ankle flexes.
- Some activities at the lake, river or beach may require different types of footwear to be worn so be sure to ask the contact at each activity if specific shoes are needed. To be safe, always pack protective water shoes or an extra pair of shoes. Wet shoes must be dried out completely before your next wearing to prevent fungus or infections.
- Seek professional medical attention from a podiatric physician if you injure your foot or ankle while on vacation. Contact a doctor when something is broken or sprained, but a podiatrist can begin treating your ailment immediately while you’re away from home.
- In case of minor foot problems be prepared with the following on-the-go foot gear:
- Flip flops – for the hotel room, airport security check points, spa, and pool
- Sterile bandages – for covering minor scrapes and cuts
- Antibiotic cream – to treat any opening or skin injury
- Emollient-enriched cream – to hydrate feet
- Blister pads or moleskin – to prevent blisters
- Advil or Motrin (anti-inflammatory) – to ease swollen, tired feet
- Toenail clippers – to keep toenails trimmed
- Emery board – to smooth broken nails or rough edges
- Pumice stone – to soften calluses on skin
- Sunscreen – to protect against sunburn
- Aloe Vera or Silvadene cream – to ease burning pain from sunburn