As we bid farewell to the chill of winter, our feet, cocooned for months in layers of wool and comfort, must emerge from their hibernation. With summer’s warm embrace upon us, it’s time to offer our feet their much-deserved attention. While these faithful companions may have been hidden away, it’s essential to remember that our overall health often reflects in our feet. How to keep your feet healthy? The question is worth asking!
Experts concur that the status of your feet can be an important health barometer, offering vital clues about conditions that may otherwise go unnoticed.
The Hidden Language of Your Feet
According to Dr. Paul Greenberg, assistant professor of orthopedic surgery at New York University’s Grossman School of Medicine, a daily foot inspection is an ideal habit. Unanticipated swelling can signal high blood pressure, while tingling or numbness might suggest diabetes, as explained by Dr. Kirk Geter, the chief of podiatry at Howard University Hospital. Gout or kidney issues can also manifest as swelling.
The daily routine should cover the entirety of the foot, from the tips to the soles, including the often-neglected region between your toes. Don’t hesitate to get your foot health checked out if anything appears amiss.
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Summer Foot Care Tips: Smart Choices for Sunny Days
As summer invites a change in footwear, our choices can either foster foot health or potentially provoke problems. Here are a few considerations for the sunny season:
Flip the Script on Flip-Flops
Dr. Stephanie Wu, a professor at Dr. William M. Scholl College of Podiatric Medicine, urges us to reconsider the ubiquitous flip-flop. With scant support for arch, heel, and ankle, these popular sandals can exacerbate conditions like arch pain and plantar fasciitis. Moreover, they make for unsafe mowing attire, as numerous emergency room visits can attest.
Guard Against Germs
Summer’s barefoot joy leaves our feet more vulnerable to infection. Public swimming areas and locker rooms are hotspots for harmful microorganisms, leading to unpleasant conditions like athlete’s foot and plantar warts. Stable waterproof shoes are a sensible choice for these environments, and water shoes can save a delightful beach walk from turning painful. Dr. Geter recommends cleaning your feet with an antibacterial wipe after exposure to such locations to eliminate potential pathogens.
Sunscreen: Your Feet Need It Too
As you bask in the summer sun, remember that your feet, too, need the protective shield of sunscreen. Dr. Rosemarie Ingleton, an assistant professor of dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital, reminds us that the tops and soles of our feet are just as susceptible to sunburn and skin cancer as the rest of our body. The American Podiatric Medical Association advises a minimum of 30 SPF sunscreen, reapplied frequently, to protect your feet from the sun’s harmful rays.
This summer, let’s make a pact to treat our feet with the care they deserve. Healthy, happy feet make for a blissful summer filled with exploration and adventure. Embrace the warmth of the season, but remember, keep your foot healthy is a step towards overall wellbeing.
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