Six Tips To Keep Your Feet Healthy This Summer (from our own foot expert)!

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Summer can be one of the roughest seasons on your feet.  Take the right steps in protecting your feet in the summer with our tips below!

1) Avoid going barefoot

Summer Foot Care Tips, University Foot and Ankle InstituteWalking barefoot on hot surfaces can cause a burn injury, especially if you have a condition that limits your sensation to the bottom of your foot, such as diabetic neuropathy, you may not even notice that the surface is too hot to walk on.

Diabetic patients with neuropathy should never be walking barefoot regardless of the weather.  Walking barefoot also exposes you to fungus or warts, especially in public spaces like the community pool or public showers.  Water shoes can help protect your feet at the beach, lake or ocean.

2) Make sure your shoes are appropriate for what you are doing 

Wearing flip-flops at the pool, gym, or other public spaces can be useful in preventing fungus or warts from infecting your skin.  However, make sure you wear proper shoes if you’re playing a sport or when you know will be on your feet for a prolonged period of time, like at an amusement park or county fair.

Many flip-flops and sandals do not have the proper support and can make your feet very sore.  They also offer little or no protection from any kind of impact which can make cracks in a sidewalk and curbs pretty darn painful obstacles.

3) Apply sunscreen to your feet

Protect Your Feet in the Summer, University Foot and Ankle InstituteAs with all areas of skin on your body, remember to protect the skin on your feet from the sun by applying sunscreen all over your feet. AND DON’T FORGET THE BOTTOM OF YOUR FEET! They too may be exposed to the sun if you are sitting on the beach and they are especially unprepared for the ravages of the sun.

And remember to reapply sunscreen if you’ve been in the water.  Applying sunscreen can help prevent skin cancers that can arise from too much sun exposure.

4) Moisturize your feet

The heat can cause dryness and cracking of your skin.  Using a good moisturizing cream can give the moisture that your skin needs to stay healthy.  Dry and cracked skin, can lead to openings in your skin that can cause infections and pain. Trust me, it isn’t pretty.

5) Avoid moisture in your shoes

When the heat comes, your feet are bound to sweat.  This can cause a moist environment in your shoe, making it the perfect breeding ground for fungus.  Socks that wick moisture away from the skin and shoes that are breathable, can help reduce the amount of moisture that builds up around your feet.

Another great tip is to remove the insoles (or your orthotics) in your shoes after you work out or play sports. This will help dry them out before you use them again.  Make sure you wash your feet regularly, especially after any heavy activity.

6) Seek help if your foot hurts or you have any foot concerns

Protect Your Feet This Summer, University Foot and Ankle InstituteIf your foot hurts, or you injure your foot, make sure you promptly seek professional treatment.  Soreness in your feet may cause you to compensate and can potentially cause additional problems or issues.

Many things, such as warts, and fungus, can be treated easily and quickly before they become worse and harder to treat.  Blisters that develop from improper footwear or the heat, especially in a diabetic patient, should be treated quickly before they get worse.

Now get out there and have some fun!

Dr. Bob Baravarian, DPM, FACFAS
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Dr. Bob Baravarian, DPM, FACFAS

Dr. Bob Baravarian is a Board Certified Podiatric Foot and Ankle Specialist. He is currently a member of UCLA Medical Group, Chief of Podiatric Surgery at Santa Monica/UCLA medical center and Orthopedic Hospital and an assistant clinical professor at the UCLA School of Medicine. He also serves as co-director of University Foot and Ankle Institute. He is Editor Emeritus of the international medical journal, Foot and Ankle Specialist.

Dr. Baravarian has been involved in athletics his entire life and played competitive tennis in high school and college. He has an interest in sports medicine, arthritis therapy and trauma/reconstructive surgery of the foot and ankle. He servers as a consultant to the ATP (Association of Tennis Professionals) tour, multiple running organizations and several shoe manufacturers. He is also fluent in five languages (English, French, Spanish, Farsi and Hebrew),

Podiatrist Dr. Bob Baravarian is available for consultation at the Santa Monica, Sherman Oaks and UCLA Westwood offices.
Dr. Bob Baravarian, DPM, FACFAS
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8 comments

  1. Great tip about applying sunscreen on the bottom of the feet, will definitely try it this summer!

  2. This article will help me to protect my feet from the sun this summer. Will definitely try this!

  3. Thanks for sharing this. One thing I would add – avoid flip-flops: By wearing flip-flops, you’re also exposing yourself to bacteria, viral and fungal infections. Flip-flops are not ideal for extensive walking because they offer very limited – and sometimes no – arch support.

  4. It really is surprising just how much moisturizing your feet can help. Not only does it help rejuvenate your feet, but it can relax the muscles there too. It’s a great way to deal with foot pain in between trips to the podiatrist.

  5. I had no idea that going barefoot can actually damage your feet– interesting! Just like you took the time to explain here, walking on some hot surfaces could burn the bottoms of your feet and even cause them to blister a little bit. Living so close to the beach, I love to walk barefoot down there, but I will try to wear some protection since I want to avoid burning my feet. Thanks again for reminding me about wearing shoes to the beach!

  6. Thanks for pointing out that you should get treated if you ever injure your foot or if it hurts. Rather obvious advice, I know. My toe has been killing me for days, and it is all red. I’ll have to find a foot doctor near me who can tell me what’s wrong. Thanks for helping.

  7. I liked that you had mentioned that it can be important to avoid going barefoot because your feet might not even realize that the ground is too hot to walk on. My wife’s feet are very sensitive at times and at other time’s she doesn’t really have a feeling on the bottom’s and this has me worried.

  8. I think that your warning to see a foot doctor if you are in pain was perfect advice. My fiance is an avid runner and would like to stay on top of his health so that he does not develop problems. However, lately, he has experienced a few problems that he should get checked out.

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