Going barefoot is one of the pleasures of summer. Whether you’re vacationing at the beach, picnicking at the park, or strolling across the backyard, there’s something liberating about going au natural below the ankles. But bare feet need to beware. Every summer, foot and ankle surgeons treat patients for cuts, puncture wounds and other barefoot injuries.
To help you and your family avoid a similar un-bare-able fate, we’re sharing some tips for a safer barefoot summer:
Contact our office within 24-hours of suffering a puncture wound.
Why: These injuries 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.
Apply sunscreen to the tops and bottoms of your feet.
Why: Feet get sunburn too. Rare but deadly skin cancers can develop on the feet.
Routinely inspect your feet and your children’s feet for skin problems.
Why: Going barefoot can increase your risk for athlete’s foot, warts, calluses and ingrown toenails. The earlier a skin condition is detected, the easier it is to treat.
Wear flip-flops or sandals around swimming pools, locker rooms and beaches.
Why: 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, and other problems.
Use common sense.
Why: 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.
If you or someone in your family has diabetes, take note: People 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.
By following some simple tips, you can keep your family’s bare feet safe from injury this summer.