Whether you’re walking on the beach, wandering your local park or enjoying your own backyard, going barefoot on your adventure is one of the many simple pleasures of summertime.
But bare feet need to beware. Every summer, our office treats patients for cuts, puncture wounds and other barefoot injuries. To help you and your family avoid similar injuries, we’re sharing some tips for a safer barefoot summer.
- Contact Our Office Within 24 hours of Suffering a Puncture Wound This type of injury can embed unsterile foreign objects deep inside your foot and trap bacteria. A puncture wound must be cleaned properly and monitored throughout the healing process. This will help to avoid complications, such as tissue and bone infections or damage to tendons and muscles in the foot.
- Don’t Forget to Apply Sunscreen to the Tops and Bottoms of Your Feet Many patients are surprised to learn that skin cancer, including the most serious form, melanoma, does occur on the feet. In fact, melanoma of the foot is particularly dangerous because people rarely think to look for it on their feet which may result in a later-stage diagnosis and poor prognosis for recovery.
-Wear Flip-flops or Sandals Around Swimming Pools, Locker Rooms and Beaches It’s best to keep your feet protected to avoid cuts and abrasions from rough surfaces and sharp objects hidden beneath sandy beaches and to prevent contact with bacteria, fungus or viruses that can cause athlete’s foot, plantar warts or other problems.
-Routinely Inspect Your Feet and Your Children’s Feet for Skin Problems Going barefoot can increase your risk for athlete’s foot, warts, calluses and other skin problems. Inspect feet regularly for any changes or signs of problems. The earlier a skin condition is detected, the easier it is to treat.
-Use Caution and Common Sense Every year, people lose toes while mowing the lawn barefoot. Others suffer serious burns from accidentally stepping on stray campfire coals or fireworks. Murky rivers, lakes and ponds can conceal sharp objects underwater. Plus, those with diabetes should never go barefoot, even indoors, because their nervous system may not “feel” an injury and their circulatory system will struggle to heal breaks in the skin.
Remember, you can still have summertime fun but you’ll enjoy it even more if you’re foot-injury free!