‘Don’t Forget the Sunscreen
Speaking of those sandals—don’t forget that the tops of your feet need some love from the sunscreen, too! Feet don’t get as much attention as the face and the shoulders—and that’s a big problem for a couple of reasons.
Number one, your feet are just as likely to burn as any other part of your skin that’s exposed to the sun for too long—and sunburned feet can be quite painful.
And number two, while the development of skin cancer is obviously a major problem no matter where it occurs, you may be much slower to notice a cancerous lesion on your feet than you would another part of your body. For serious cancers like melanoma—where early detection and treatment can significantly improve the survival rate—any delay in detection can have tragic consequences.
Make sure you get the fronts of your ankles, too, and to reapply your sunscreen after being in the water.
Keep Your Nails Nicely Trimmed
This is good all-season advice, but you may especially need to hear it now if you’re planning on getting more active this summer. Extra-long or improperly trimmed nails combined with high rates of physical activity is an unfortunately effective recipe for ingrown toenails and other nail-related injuries.
You should clip your nails straight across, short but with a tiny bit of “overhang” remaining, and keep them at about this length. While excessively long toenails can lead to injury, so can nails that are too short, especially if you round the corners too much.
Be Cautious About Starting New Activities
Now, we’re not saying that you shouldn’t try a new exercise routine at all! If, for example, you want to make this summer the one where you get serious about running, we fully support you!
What we are saying, however, is that jumping into new activities at full speed, without working your way up to that level first, can often result in increased pain and injury.
If you’re just getting active again, or trying something new, take it slow and steady at first and listen to your body. If it hurts, dial back the intensity to a level that you know you can handle. Then from there, restrict yourself to increasing the level of exercise (distance, pace, duration, weight, etc.) by no more than 15 percent per week.
That way, you give your body time to rest, recover, and get stronger week to week. By the end of the summer, you might find that you can achieve a lot more than you could at the start—and you’ll get there while greatly reducing your risk of devastating setbacks.
Don’t Underestimate the Importance of Foot Care This Summer!
We’re not just saying this because we’re in the podiatric field: people ignore their foot health at their own peril. If your feet are giving you problems, it will have a negative impact on every other part of your day-to-day activity.
We hope these summer foot care tips help you keep your feet (and body, mind, and soul too!) in good health this summer. And if you do experience problems, please give us a call at (203) 876-7736. The sooner we see you and begin to address your discomfort, the sooner you can get back to doing what you love.