June 19, 2017

by Lynn Gustafson, DPM

Summer has made its welcomed yearly appearance which has left many of us barefoot or donning sandals, but that doesn’t mean you should neglect your feet. By following these tips, you’ll ensure healthy, happy feet all summer long.

Avoid flip-flops: By wearing flip-flops, you’re exposing yourself to bacteria, viral and fungal infections. In addition, unlike tennis shoes or a sturdier-sole sandal, flip-flops are not ideal for extensive walking because they offer very limited – and sometimes no – arch support, heel cushioning, shock absorption and carry with them an increased risk of toe injuries. It’s recommended that flip-flops be reserved for walking around the pool, on warm surfaces, or be worn in public showers to prevent you from catching athlete’s foot or plantar warts.

Treat blisters: If your new shoes or sandals have left you with a nasty blister, clean the blister with hand soap and try your best to leave it intact. If the blister bursts open, apply antibiotic ointment and cover the area with a Band-Aid. To prevent blisters, buy shoes that are comfortable at the time of purchase; don’t wait for them to get “broken-in.” Look for footwear with soft fabrics or leather and wear them around the house before testing them outdoors.

Care for cracked heels: Cracked heels are caused by callused, dry skin and can be brought on by wearing open-backed shoes. If you notice any deep cracks, treat the affected area with antibiotic ointment and cover with a Band-Aid. However, if you just have dry summer heels, invest in an exfoliating moisturizer that you use a few times a week in the shower. Note that chronic dry, cracked heels may also be a sign of thyroid issues, diabetes, fungus or psoriasis. If you have continuous cracked heels, it is best to seek the care of a podiatrist.

Keep your sweaty feet dry: Often times, summer heat and sweaty feet go hand-in-hand, or should we say feet-in-feet? To ward off sweaty feet, which can increase the risk of infection, wear socks that wick away excess moisture and don’t wear damp socks if possible. If you are wearing sturdy sandals, aerosol deodorant may be applied to the bottoms of your feet to keep them dry, too. 

About Mankato Clinic Department of Podiatry:Our Foot and Ankle physicians provide comprehensive medical and surgical care for a wide spectrum of foot and ankle conditions including common to complex disorders and injuries that affect people of all ages. Call us at 507-385-4055 for same-week care. Appointment can be made without a referral unless directed by patient’s insurance.

Lynn Gustafson, DPM