With the first day of summer next month, the podiatrists at Kansas City Foot and Ankle wanted to provide a few tips to get your feet summer-ready this year.
Pick your summer shoes carefully: It’s very easy to get into the habit of wearing flip flops and sandals every day, particularly in the hot Kansas City weather, but these types of shoes provide almost no support or protection for your feet. We generally see a large increase in heel and foot pain in the summer months because of patients wearing these shoes every day. Flip flops and sandals are for short term wear, so for the pool or lake they’re probably ok, but don’t wear them every day, particularly if you know you’re going to be on your feet a lot.
Protect your feet and be careful about going barefoot in public places. Public pools, water parks, gyms and hotels can be a breeding ground for all kinds of foot infections and do put you at risk for plantar warts, toenail fungus, or athletes foot. This is especially important if you have diabetes. If you have diabetes, you should keep your feet covered at all times, as you could step on something and potentially not feel it. If you have diabetes and haven’t had a foot exam in a while (at least once a year), you should have one to make sure your feet are in good shape.
Keep your feet looking good! If heading to a salon, be sure you go to one that you trust and that is clean. Ask about how they take care of their instruments and how they clean them between clients. Trim your toenails straight across and be careful about digging down into the corners as this may increase your risk of ingrown toenails. If you do get an ingrown toenail, do not try to dig the ingrown nail out as this will probably only make the ingrown nail worse. Seek medical attention at Kansas City Foot and Ankle.
Keep on top of calluses and cracked heels. If you have calluses, do not try to trim them with a razor blade or other sharp instrument. Instead, use a pumice stone to gently file them down. If the pumice stone is not keeping the callus in check, visit a podiatrist at Kansas City Foot and Ankle to have them safely treated and removed. You may need prescription strength creams to help keep the calluses in check. Cracked heels can be smoothed by using a pumice stone in the shower and applying a rich moisturizer afterwards.
Apply sunblock! Be sure to reapply often and don’t forget to apply to your feet, both on the tops and bottoms of the feet. Be sure to cover the nails, too. Skin cancer on the foot can be dangerous, as it usually is harder to diagnose and may go unnoticed for longer periods of time.
We hope these basic tips help keep your feet in tip-top shape this summer! Here’s to your healthy feet! If you develop any foot or ankle problems in spite of following the above recommendations, call the experts at Kansas City Foot and Ankle at 816-943-1111.