Simple Tips for Summer Feet

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With the beach, family vacations, camping and amusement parks there is plenty of fun to be had in the summer time. With this increase in activity it can be quite trying on your feet. No need to fear, there are some simple tips to help keep your feet happy and healthy all summer long.
With summer in full swing the odds are you will be more active. With the beach, family vacations, camping and amusement parks there is plenty of fun to be had in the summer time. With this increase in activity it can be quite trying on your feet. No need to fear, there are some simple tips to help keep your feet happy and healthy all summer long.

1) Use Those Flip-Flops in Moderation

Most flip-flop or sandals don't have adequate support for your feet. They are ideal for the beach or the pool and even if yo

u know you are not going to be on your feet or walking for an extended period; however, if you are planning on doing a lot of walking or spending the day on your feet, wearing a shoe with more support is critical to avoid possible tendon and ligament strain in your feet, legs and even back. Flip-flops are not built for Disney World!

2) Realize your Feet and Legs Tend To Swell More In Summer

This is due to the increase in temperature along with the possibility you are going to be on your feet more. If possible, elevate your feet above the level of your heart 2-3 times a day, for at least 20 minutes. At the very least, be sure to prop your feet up at the end of the day for 30-45 minutes.

Also, it is important to wear a shoe that fits properly. If you start the day off with a shoe that fits snug, it is likely to be quite uncomfortable by the end of the day. In addition, the tight shoe can cause friction, which could lead to blisters.

Finally, if you are going to purchase shoes, preferably buy them in the late afternoon or evening, since your feet are more likely to be larger at this time of day.

3) Try to Avoid Going Barefoot

The likelihood that you get cuts, scratches, bumps, punctures, and all kinds of other traumas, major or minor are greatly reduced if you are wearing some type of shoe. For example, people, especially kids, are more likely to get warts on the bottom of the feet during the summer, because they step on tiny pieces of glass, wood, or other hazard which, although does not cause a serious puncture wound, is enough to place the virus in the skin. If you were thinking of trying a pair of the those new 'toe shoes', now is the time.

4) Trim your Nails Properly

Trim your nails straight across. Do not cut the nails down in the corners. This can lead to ingrowing toenails and infections. If you already are doing this, go see a foot doctor to fix the problem before you hit the beach.

5) Keep your Feet Clean

Wash with soap and water daily. Try not to soak feet, as this removes the skins natural oils. Also, after washing feet, apply a moisturizer to your feet, but avoid between your toes. If you are prone to calluses, hard skin, or cracking heels, you will require a moisturizer that also has an ingredient to specifically soften these areas (will usually be referred to as a keratolytic agent).

6) Careful with Discolored Nails

Don't use polish on discolored, cracked, or brittle nails. Your nails may have a fungus, and using polish will likely make the condition worse. Check with your local podiatrist just to be sure. You may need to use a topical medication for a brief time. At the very least, even if you do use that bright-colored summer polish, you will have a plan to keep the condition from worsening.

7) Have/Use a pair of Good Supportive Shoes

As mentioned before, if you are going to be on your feet, like at an amusement park, it is best to have a pair of good supportive shoes to prevent numerous types of foot injuries. You are more likely to experience heel pain if you increase your activities, but are not using a supportive shoe. If you notice heel pain during the day, it is important to get off your feet and rest them. Also, if you do a lot of walking, and the next morning when you wake up you notice you have a lot of pain in your heels, you need to take it easy. Give your feet a rest, do some calf stretches, ice and some massage to keep the condition from getting worse.
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  • Dr. Newsom Thursday, 30 June 2011


    First off, not being able to see the nail, I can not adequately or appropriately answer your question. In other words, I can only speak to hypotheticals , but NOT to your specific condition. Therefore the information contained is merely for reference purposes and not a prescription for what you should do for your current problem. If there is ever any question that you may have an infection in your toe or nail, you should immediately seek medical attention. It is going to cost you much less to go to a foot and ankle specialist/podiatrist than it will to go to the ER. And you're likely to get better care just because you're dealing with professionals who deal with your type of problem on a regular basis. And it will cost significantly less to get treatment sooner rather than wait and require more extensive treatment later. It always costs significantly more the longer you wait.

    If the nail has a thickness and build-up which is flaky, this is most commonly due to a fungus infection. If there is drainage (fluid that runs out from the side of the nail or from under the nail) this is NOT related to a nail fungus. So if it is just flaking you can consider over the counter (OTC) medications, however you need to realize that these OTC medications will typically not cure your fungus infection, especially if it has been present for as long as you indicate. The OTC medications are ok at preventing the condition from getting significantly worse if you do have a fungus, but you should not expect your nail to clear up 100% if you use any OTC medication. Once again, for people who notice a problem with their nail (that is truly related to a nail fungus), and the problem is very early in the disease, than OTC medication may eradicate the disease in the nail. However, if the condition has been present for a while, say 6 months, than professional treatment should be sought. Better, more effective topical medication is available with a prescription. Also there is oral medication (pills) which is required to treat long standing and severe cases of nail fungus.

    As an aside, if there is concern of infection of the toe or nail, and the cause is not known, soaking with betadine or hydrogen peroxide is a good start. It is still recommended that, in addition to these soaks, you also call a foot and ankle specialist to assess the condition and have him/her prescribe any additional treatment or medication as needed. You are going to be much better off in the long run and you are likely to save a lot of money as well.

    Hope these suggestions help. Sounds like you will ultimately need to see someone though. Good Luck!

  • Kyla Thursday, 30 June 2011


    I had a question for you, somewhat for informational purposes, but mostly for personal use.

    Ever since I was a kid I've had tight shoes (product of a low income upbringing) and I was never shown how to properly care for my toes and feet. My foot reality of 25 years has involved flaky feet, cloudy nails, and big toe nails that get pretty deep into the surrounding skin. I am not in pain, but they are pretty unsightly. All of my other nails are/were ok, until I went to get a pedicure about a month or so ago and I felt a little sting when she trimmed my first toenail. Now the edge of the nail is becoming thick with white build up underneath. I am sure this is a fungal thing, but I really can't afford to see a podiatrist right now! Is there ANYTHING I can do from home until I can get to a Dr. that will eliminate the flake, kill the fungal, and soften the skin around my big nails to allow the nail to grow properly?

    I really appreciate you taking the time to help!!



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