It’s summertime – that time for sandals and swimming pools, for sunny days and painted toenails. However, summer can be hard on your feet. High heat and public changing areas put your feet under pressure, causing uncomfortable conditions and leaving you with unsightly feet that you want to hide away. But there are things you can do to take care of your toes, leaving you with beautiful feet that you can’t wait to show-off at the beach.
Summer Foot Conditions
Summer is a bad time of year for a number of foot-health conditions. Walking around communal areas barefoot and sweating inside your shoes are both responsible for poor foot-health.
Athlete’s foot is a fungal infection that forms a red, itchy rash between your toes. It thrives in damp conditions. You are most likely to pick the fungal infection up walking by the edge of the swimming pool or in the communal shower. It then grows in the damp environment of sweaty shoes and socks. It’s important to treat athlete’s foot as soon as you become aware that you have it. Later, athlete’s food could lead to cracked skin, making a bacterial infection more likely.
To treat athlete’s foot, use proper foot care, and treat the fungal infections with an athlete’s food cream containing an active substance such as clotrimazole. This will effectively treat the infection when used consistently for two months, and when proper hygiene is maintained.
Fungal Nail Infection
A common complication of athlete’s foot is a fungal nail infection which causes unsightly nails and can lead to nail pain. It grows in warm environments and is most likely to occur in summer, when you have sweaty feet. If you have a fungal nail infection in one nail, it will most likely spread to other nails. Fungal nail infections often need to be treated with an anti-fungal treatment, such as cream, tablets, or nail paints.
Verrucas are painful warts that develop on the soles of the feet. They are caused by a virus that invades through small cut in the skin, commonly caught at the swimming-pool, or in communal showers. They can cause pain when standing or walking. There are a number of over-the-counter remedies available. Consult your pharmacist.
Good Foot care this Summer
Whether you want to prevent verrucas and athlete’s foot, or even if you have none of the conditions, everyone could benefit from practicing good foot hygiene. Good foot hygiene is easy to fit into your daily routine, and could save you from painful conditions:
Wear Flip-flops At The Poolside
As we’ve discussed, communal areas are covered with fungus, bacterium and viruses. So avoid going barefoot in the communal shower or at the poolside. Whether you’re on vacation or at the local pool, take a pair of flip-flops to protect your feet from touching warm, damp, contaminated tiles.
When you’re not at the pool, wear sensible shoes. And don’t always wear the same pair. I know it can be tempting to wear open flip-flops all summer. Don’t do it. Flip-flops have no arch-support and may cause foot-pain if worn for prolonged periods of time. Instead, wear a sturdy pair of shoes when you go out, and alternate between several pairs regularly to ensure they stay in good condition.
When At Home, Go Barefoot
Going barefoot when you’re outside may be bad for your health. You could pick up all kinds of harmful infections and damage your feet. But, when you’re in your own, clean home, taking off your shoes is a great way to let air get to your feet, preventing them from sweating.
Wash and Dry Your Feet Twice A Day
Wash your feet in antibacterial soap and water, morning and night, to keep them clean and healthy, and make sure you dry them very well. A light dusting of talc powder will help keep them dry throughout the day. Keeping your feet dry makes them less of a breeding-ground for fungus and bacteria.
Take Care Of Dry Skin
While you’re washing your feet, give them a gentle massage with a pumice-stone. Dry, hard skin is common in summer. While it isn’t painful, it is unsightly, so take the time to make it look better.
If You Have Diabetes
Be aware that minor injuries can become serious quickly, so monitor your feet for changes. You may not be able to feel your feet properly, which may cause a problem if you harm the skin while trimming your nails. If you have trouble reaching your feet to care for them, ask your doctor to recommend a chiropodist.
If you follow these simple tips, you should keep your feet healthy and attractive throughout summer.