This has been quite the summer up here in Alaska and it seems to be far from over. With all of the warm weather and sunshine, we are enjoying, its time to remind you all of some basic summer foot care tips to keep your feet healthy and pain-free as you continue to enjoy our midnight sun.
Yes, even up here in Alaska we need to use sunscreen. You are probably already using sunscreen but do you remember to put sunscreen on your feet? People often forgot to apply sunscreen to their feet but it’s important to remember that your feet can also end up with skin cancers including the most deadly of the skin cancers, melanoma. Remember the ABCDs of melanoma (Asymmetric appearance, Borders that are uneven or scalloped, Color that is uneven or a skin lesion that has multiple colors and Diameter of over 6mm) and if you are at all concerned about a suspicious spot on your foot you can follow up with one of our podiatrists or a dermatologist if you find one elsewhere on your body.
Avoid Going Barefoot
It is so tempting to go barefoot and feel cool grass underfoot or that wet sand on your toes, but up here you should think twice about this. For example, this summer there have been high levels of enterococci bacteria and fecal coliform found at the Kenai North Beach putting people at risk of serious infectious through skin contact with water and sand. Of course, there is always the risk for some kind of puncture wound to your feet while outdoors barefoot. Some of the common puncture wounds we see are caused by broken glass, wood splinters, nails, and needles. Unfortunately, puncture wounds can lead to serious infections in the soft tissue and sometimes even the bones of the feet. Do yourself a favor and wear some kind of water shoe when in water and sandals or shoes on the beach.
This summer wardrobe staple, the epitome of summer chill, can do your feet a lot of harm. Most flip-flops have very little support and a very flat footbed. The increased flexibility and lack of support require your foot to flatten out more and your toes to “grip” the sandal more putting you at risk for developing painful problems to your arches and could lead to developing hammertoes. Fortunately, there are many sandal options that have good support built-in so you can still enjoy the style of the shoe without all of the pain. For a list of sandals and shoes approved and recommended by the APMA, click here
We want you to keep exploring, keep moving and enjoy the rest of your summer! Keep those feet happy while you are at it.