Keep your feet safe this summer
June is finally here and the long sunny days (were) here.....let's hope the torrential rain today disappears soon!
During (and after) the summer months, we see many issues affecting the feet. Although some of them can be painful and cause long term issues, the majority of them ARE avoidable.
Make a note of these quick tips to keep your family's feet save during the summer months.
We spend so much time applying sunscreen to the body to prevent burns. But do you apply it to the tops and soles of your feet?
We've all had silly tan lines from sandals on the feet, but sun damage on the feet is just as dangerous as anywhere else on the body.
The skin on the top of the foot is very thin, and actually burns very easily. Often causing blistering and pain. Make sure you apply an appropriate SPF and UVA sun lotion to prevent irreparable damage.
Yes, you can have moles on the feet. Make sure you check your feet regularly to spot early signs of any new moles developing or existing moles changing. They should always be checked by a professional to ensure there are no suspicious changes occurring to them.
If you have freckles or moles on the feet, take extra care. There are some fabulous sun block sticks which are suitable for areas such as moles which require a full block. (The packaging for these is often small like a lipstick, perfect to pop in your hand bad to reapply throughout the day! Check with your local pharmacist to find the right one for you).
3. Protect yourself from hot surface burns
As tempting as the hot weather is to go barefoot, be cautious.
Pavements, hot sand, boat decks and many other surfaces heat up extremely quickly in the sunshine.
We often see people suffering from painful burns and blisters to their feet due to walking barefoot on extremely hot surfaces. Burns can be a lengthy and painful recovery process (and are susceptible to infection).
Wear footwear which protects you from burning hot surfaces. You wouldn't let your pet burn their paws on hot surfaces - so don't let it happen to yourself or your family!
4. Avoid puncture wounds and cuts
Barefoot in the sand, garden or even the streets of London as I've seen some people (although I strongly advise against that one!) can be tempting in the good weather after having your feet enclosed in shoes all year!.
Don't get me wrong, I am a strong advocate for going shoeless in a safe environment, IF your feet and health status are suitable to. It can me a great way to gain strength and mobility in the feet, as well as working on your balance. As with all things though, everything in moderation (and it certainly does not mean that this is a suitable habit for everyone...but that's another post!)
However; being careless on grounds and surfaces that may cause injury often causes long term effects.
During the summer season I spend many hours picking out thorns, splinter, shards of glass, stone, sea urchin, all sorts! From the feet of all ages! Understandably, some occasions are unavoidable and clearly accidental, but let's not focus on those!
If you can see that a surface has something sharp/painful all over it e.g. thorns, broken glass, shells, pebbles, stick, rocks, use a suitable type of footwear to go across it! (And as ugly as they are, try water shoes! They make getting across rocky beaches/in and out of rocky seas so much easier!)
If you do get a wound/cut or splinter ensure you look after the area appropriately. If the splinter is excessively deep, large, painful or bleeding seek medical advise straight away rather than attempting 'self surgery' as you may 'splinter' the splinter making it a much more complex issue. Some very deep splinters may need x-ray/ultrasound and local anaesthetic to be taken out to ensure a quick and painless procedure.
5. Listen to your feet, legs, knees, hips and back!
Whether you change your sports shoes to a lighter weight shoe in the summer or are wearing different shoes to work or on the weekends. Summer shoes tend not to have as much support or 'well built' soles. Which can have an effect on the function or your foot and joints.
Make sure you listen to your body. If you are finding that you are getting aching feet, heels, ankles, knees, hips or back and you haven't 'done anything' which may have injured you, try changing your shoes. I often find changes in footwear can start to cause aches and pains. Now this doesn't necessarily mean the shoe is causing the problem as such, usually there is an existing issue which has been managed well to date, and a change in footwear has aggravated it. Don't ignore pain if it doesn't go away with an immediate change in footwear - seek our expert advice to get to prevent your issue from worsening!
If your or your family have any sudden foot issues this summer, don't delay seeking advise!
Our Podiatry Team is available:
Monday, Tuesday and Fridays and will be available alternate Saturdays commencing 13th July 2019.
Our Foot Health Practitioners (For hard skin removal and nail cutting) are available:
Monday and Wednesday mornings (Home Visits for those with mobility issues also available)
Book online https://www.henleypodiatry.com/book-online-1 to find an appointment at your convenience
Call: 01491 260320