The countdown is on until Santa comes down the chimney which means our warm summer days are on the way. As we start packing away the winter clothing and pulling out the singlets and shorts of summer, here is some foot care advice to keep your feet happy this summer.

Foot injuries

Being barefoot in the summer is only natural and has some benefits for short periods of time, but it is not recommended for outside the home. We recommend always wearing enclosed footwear outside the home or at work, because all too often injuries can occur from punctures or cuts to sprains and strains. Summer is the perfect time to get out in the water, so if you are participating in water sports such as kayaking or canoeing, we advise wearing water shoes or sandals to protect your feet from the harsh riverbeds or rocky shorelines. If an injury does occur, contact your podiatrist or doctor immediately.

If you are a diabetic, shoes should be worn at ALL times to avoid injury. Even the slightest cut, that can go unrecognised, may be a cause for concern among people with diabetes where healing is slowed and can potentially lead to serious problems and even limb amputation if not treated correctly and in time.

Thongs, flip flops, jandals

While thongs seem to be part of our Australian fashion culture and convenient to wear, they can put people at risk of developing foot problems. As thongs are a flat piece of rubber or leather, they do not provide enough support through the arch as other shoes would. If worn for a prolonged period of time, thongs can cause excessive movement of the foot during walking and therefore cause severe heel, arch and/or ball of foot pain.

Despite this, thongs do protect the foot from the hot sand of our beautiful beaches and can even prevent the spread of fungal skin or nail infections at a public pool, so use your thongs sparingly. Alternatively, Riverside Podiatry stocks podiatrist-approved thongs at our West Gosford clinic[we have a few of them at Wyong as well]. These thongs offer arch support and have firm fastening and are therefore a better option than regular thongs.

Prevent fungal infections

Sweaty or smelly feet can be an embarrassing and unpleasant problem which many people may suffer from. Sweaty feet can leave people more prone to fungal infections. Fungal spores or wart viruses thrive in warm, humid environments and can be easily acquired in communal showers at your local pool or beach. In our warm, summer months, take time to expose your feet to the air, without socks, more often and ensure you air out your shoes in a cool, dry environment. If you already have a fungal infection of the skin or nail, our podiatrists can help.

No more cracked heels

During summer our body sweats more, which means the skin on the soles of our feet is prone to dryness and cracking. The painful cracks can even bleed and become infected. By applying moisturiser to your heels and using a pumice stone daily you can reduce the amount of dry, hard skin on your heels. Our podiatrists are here to help by debriding the calloused skin in a quick and painless appointment to leave your heels feeling silky smooth and comfortable again.

Sunscreen on your feet

Slip, slop, slap! But have you remembered to slap the sunscreen on your feet as well? Look down now, have you got a thong tan line? If your feet are exposed to the sun then they are also prone to skin cancer.

Let’s keep counting down until summer, now that we know how to protect our feet in the hotter climates!