One perk of a beach-bound holiday is knowing that instead of closed in shoes with socks or stockings and 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. Even if you are just lying still on your back soaking up the rays, your feet are still vulnerable. You can seriously sunburn your feet and no matter how upscale your hotel, athlete’s foot can lurk in all public pool areas.
- Limit walking barefoot as it exposes feet to sunburn, as well as plantar warts, athlete’s foot, ringworm, and other infections and also increases risk of injury to your feet.
- Wear shoes or flip-flops around the pool, to the beach, in the locker room and even on the carpeting or in the bathroom of your hotel room to prevent injuries and limit the likelihood of contracting any bacterial infections.
- Remember to apply sunscreen all over your feet, especially the tops and fronts of ankles, and don’t forget to reapply after you’ve been in the water.
- Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water throughout the day. Drinking water will not only help with overall health, but will also minimize any foot swelling caused by the heat.
- Keep blood flowing with periodic ankle flexes, toe wiggles, and calf stretches.
- Some activities at the beach, lake, or river 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 an extra pair of sneakers or protective water shoes. If your shoes will be getting wet, they should be dried out completely before your next wearing to prevent bacteria or fungus from growing.
- If you injure your foot or ankle while on vacation, seek professional medical attention from a podiatric physician. Many often only contact a doctor when something is broken or sprained, but a podiatrist can begin treating your ailment immediately while you’re away from home. Use our Find a Podiatrist tool to get treatment wherever your travels take you!
- In case of minor foot problems, be prepared with the following on-the-go foot gear:
- Flip flops—for the pool, spa, hotel room, and airport security check points
- Sterile bandages—for covering minor cuts and scrapes
- Antibiotic cream—to treat any skin injury
- Emollient-enriched cream—to hydrate feet
- Blister pads or moleskin—to protect against blisters
- Motrin or Advil (anti-inflammatory)—to ease tired, swollen feet
- Toenail clippers—to keep toenails trimmed
- Emery board—to smooth rough edges or broken nails
- Pumice stone—to soften callused skin
- Sunscreen—to protect against the scorching sun
- Aloe vera or Silvadene cream—to relieve sunburns
We have an extensive range of foot creams to help with those dry and cracked heels. Come and have a look.
For all your foot care needs- see The Podiatrist
With Summer around the corner, cracked heels are a common foot problem that involves very dry skin on the heels of the feet that can, at times, look very much like calluses. If not properly cared for the skin might eventually become dry enough to crack, creating fissures. While cracked heels are uncomfortable and unattractive fissures can be downright unhealthy as they can lead to development of infection, particularly since the feet are in almost constant contact with the ground. This condition can become quite painful, especially when standing or moving around, and if the fissures are deep enough they may even begin to bleed.
While some people have diabetes or very dry skin—both of which make skin prone to flaking and cracking—other cases of cracked heels are caused by external factors. There are several factors that increase the odds of developing this condition: walking barefoot or in flip-flops for extended periods of time, cold and dry winter weather, dehydration/insufficient water intake, routinely taking very hot showers or baths, using harsh soaps, and excessive pressure on the heels of the feet, which causes increased friction between the heel and ground surfaces. It’s important to note that being excessively overweight or obese will increase your chances of developing cracked heels or making the condition worse.
Fortunately, this condition can usually be treated at home with a little bit of time, patience, and care. Giving your feet a little extra TLC is best done right before bed so that they have time to absorb the moisturizing elements as much as possible.
Start by soaking your feet in warm water for 10-15 minutes or until the skin has softened, then gently slough the dead, dry skin from your heels with a pumice stone. Take special care around any cracks or fissure. Take your time with this step; you want to remove as much dry skin as possible without causing yourself pain or damaging tissues. Once you have finished both feet gently dry off with a towel and apply a thick moisturizer, and remember, you can use this moisturizer in the morning as well even though you won’t be performing the whole routine. It’s best to buy a very thick, unscented cream with glycerin and/or aloe as a main ingredient. Put on a comfortable pair of socks and go to bed. Be sure to repeat this routing nightly until your condition heals.
If your cracked heels DON’T improve with this treatment however, and you know you are not diabetic or dehydrated, then you will need to make an appointment with The Podiatrist to have the condition treated. Because cracked heels can lead to fissures and infection they need to be addressed as soon as possible. The Podiatrist will like treat the condition the same way you did, but with more potent tools. The Podiatrist will also probably give you very practical types for self-care such as performing regular maintenance on your feet, upgrading your footwear, using heel cups to protect the skin from friction and/or purchasing insoles to cushion your feet as you walk.
While cracked heels should not be considered a medical emergency they should be treated before more serious complications arise.
We have a great range of foot care products which can help keep your feet looking great for the summer.
Complications due to diabetes are the No. 1 cause of lower-leg amputations and account for nearly 86,000 amputations per year. Doctors estimate almost 50 percent of these amputations could have been prevented if the person had taken better care of their feet.
One cannot emphasize enough how important it is for a person with diabetes to pay rigorous attention to their feet. Foot infections are the most common issue for a person with diabetes and are more severe and take longer to heal than in a person without diabetes.
Proper foot care is simple and includes things like using an antifungal daily, not only to heal, but also to prevent fungal infections, and using a moisturizer daily to heal and prevent dry, cracked skin.
Are you being thorough enough in your foot care? Read on to find out:
* Whether indoors on plush rugs or outdoors on white sand, never walk barefoot. The Podiatrist recommends wide, closed-toed shoes with socks that fit very well. Shoes should not require “breaking in.” Why not come and see the Dr Comfort range of shoes designed for those with Diabetes.
* Clean feet daily with warm water and mild soap, but don’t soak them for more than three or four minutes. Skin submerged for too long will become macerated and more vulnerable to bacteria.
* Cracks in dry skin provide ideal openings for bacteria. Look for moisturizing creams which have natural ingredients such as the Gehwol foot care range available from The Podiatrist.
* Under no circumstances should you shave or attempt to remove calluses or corns. Instead, show them to The Podiatrist and ask about specially prescribed shoes. Even before your appointment, buy a cream made especially for people with diabetes that specifies it helps soften calluses, and apply it every day.
* Meticulously inspect feet, toes and toenails for swelling, cuts, blisters, redness, fungal build up or any type of irritation on a daily basis. If you have thickened toenails, have The Podiatrist see to your problematic nails.