The extreme warm days of Middle East are already upon us. Our habits change during this time of the year and those changes might put our foot health at risk. There are a number of simple easy tips to avoid foot problems during summer time.
- Flip-flops are widely popular, especially in this region. Generally, they are accepted as convenient shoe wear but they might cause foot problems. First of all, flip-flops are usually made of plastic or rubber and these materials are not necessarily friendly to the skin. Therefore we have to watch out for friction, especially if there is the typical toe support, made of rubber. Blisters in this area due to friction and abrasions are very common. Another aspect we have to consider when using flip-flops are long walking periods. The arch, metatarsal and ankle support are basically absent in this shoe, therefore, people are more exposed to develop mechanical problems like plantar fasciitisor metatarsal pain, for example. This does not mean flip-flops should be avoided; They are useful for short walking distances, especially at the swimming pool or across hot sand, t which connects us with the next tip:
- Avoid walking barefoot in public areas, especially wet public areas such as changing rooms, toilets, pool and public showers of resorts or hotels. Plantar warts (Human Papilloma Virus) and ringworm (fungal infection), among others, are highly infectious agents which grow and are very comfortable in their ideal environment: warm-wet areas like the ones previously mentioned. Always wear sandals or flip-flops, not only in these areas but also other common public areas (even they are not wet areas) such as hotel room carpets, etc.
- Avoid walking barefoot outdoors. Is not difficult to understand how hot the ground is during summer. Stepping on it for just a few seconds is enough to develop skin burns and really annoying plantar blisters.
- If your feet are exposed to the sun, do not forget to apply sunscreen, especially in dorsal and ankle areas. Foot skin is sensitive and very likely to get sunburned during summer.
- Change your socks every day. And use only natural fabrics like cotton, which is a more breathable material, to keep your feet dry as possible. If your sweating level is high and your feet remain wet is highly recommendable to use a pharmaceutical special powder to absorb the excessive moisture. A constant excessive moist foot is more likely to develop Athlete’s foot, which is a common dermal fungal infection (Some kind of fungi are part of our normal skin flora, but under some circumstances, they might develop an infection, exactly same as bacteria).
- Correct foot hygiene. As mentioned before, the sweatier your foot gets, the more likely to develop fungal infections. Washing your feet every day is essential but do not forget to dry them properly, especially between the toes which is the most common area to develop fungal infections.
- Heel skin: excessive sweating in an exposed foot skin is prone to dryness and cracking. Cracks if not treated can develop superficial but painful wounds which get infected easily. Do not forget moisturizer creams every day.
For further information, questions or in case of any foot problems, call us and make an appointment in the Podiatry department at Emirates Integra. We deliver the higher quality podiatry care in Dubai.