With summer vacation in full motion, the last thing on your mind—between learning how to ride waves and finding the perfect angle for your beach chair—is probably your foot health.
However, you might not realize how badly the beach can do a number on your feet. Whether it’s your feet getting burned from the sun or getting puncture wounds and cuts from a few harmful shards scattered along the sand, your easy-going beach trip can quickly turn into a pain-in-the-foot day.
Although you may think that it’s nearly impossible to keep your feet safe and healthy and still go barefoot but you can definitely do it—just with a little extra caution and a lot of extra sun lotion.
Before you head out to the lake or out to soak up the sun at the beach, make sure you slip in a few extra supplies into your bag to truly enjoy the summer—without hurting your feet!
Keep Your Feet Protected From the Sun
You might think you have got everything covered—from your nose to the back and top of your ears, you probably think you definitely did your best in out-tricking the sun. Look down—you missed two very important, sun-bearing parts.
Normally, when going out to the beach, you’ll probably be barefoot or at least in sandals when you’re walking around. Your feet will be directly placed in the sun all—if not a lot of—the time. The problem here is that the foot is often the most overlooked part of the body when it comes to applying sunscreen. Most people don’t realize that the sun can actually cause plenty of damage to their feet, even if they don’t seem to get burned.
The harmful UV rays that the sun emits right onto the tops (and bottoms!) of your feet can easily be protected by sunscreen. Of course, the chances are pretty rare, however, there are definitely some rare skin cancers out there that come from the feet.
Not only should you cover the tops and toes—make sure you lather the bottoms, as well! Think about the fact that when you’re tanning and turning over, your whole body does a 180—so will your feet!
If You Can’t Take The Heat…
You don’t want to miss out on a perfectly good beach day and you shouldn’t have to—unless, of course, you have no shoes! It is extremely dangerous to be walking on paved surfaces, sidewalks, and the sand in the extreme heat when you’re barefoot.
Although the heat of the surface of the ground can cause all kinds of painful discomfort—like burning, for example, there is a simple solution: wear shoes!
A simple pair of sandals can do wonders, however, having them slip off can be quite painful if your foot ends up making contact with the hot sand or blacktop. Water shoes or sandals that have straps are a perfect beach shoe that can protect you from just more than the heat.
Keep Your Feet Protected From Wounds and Cuts
Whether you already have a cut and are trying to protect it from getting infected or you are wanting to minimize the risk of it happening again, protecting your feet from wounds and cuts at the beach are sadly nowadays, not an easy task.
The sandy shore is littered with broken glass, sharp objects, and seashells that could end up slicing or cutting your feet while walking on the beach.
However, unfortunately, the inevitable may happen. If you do end up cutting your foot, your best first move is to stay out of the water or if you’re already in it—get out of the water. This is not because of the sharks (maybe it is) but more because of the threat of bacteria in the ocean that may possibly cause an infection. Depending on how deep or how open your cut is, you could possibly be facing the possibility of a pretty nasty infection.
Just Be Careful Where You Place Your Foot
Not only should you be on the lookout for seashells and broken glass, you should also be watching for certain sea creatures that can sting if you end up stepping on them.
Whether they are sea urchins, jellyfish, stingrays, etc., which could possibly be even washed up on the shore of the beach, any of these creatures can cause damage and pain to your feet.
There are several different ways and remedies when dealing with a jellyfish or stingray sting. However, if it doesn’t seem to be getting any better, you might want to consider going to see a doctor.
You should also watch your footing when you’re simply walking around. Since the beach is covered as an uneven surface, you can either lose your footing easily or experience arch or heel pain. If you’re going to be running or walking on the beach, you might even consider wearing athletic shoes. Although you might get sand in them, it’s a small price to pay instead of feeling a painful arch later on.
Be Extra Careful If You’re Diabetic
If you are suffering from poor circulation or numbness in your feet, you might not even notice a burn, cut or even a puncture wound. Therefore when you’re at the beach and you have diabetes, try to wear shoes the majority of the time and always check your feet at various times during your beach trip. Make sure you haven’t suffered from a wound and if you have, take care of it immediately.
After your summer beach day, you might be experiencing some sort of foot or ankle discomfort. If you do or if you think you might have an infection, don’t hesitate to arrange an appointment with us.