Tuesday, 11 January 2022 00:00


Summer can be a time when the feet are particularly vulnerable to various medical problems. This is because the warm weather means that many people will wear shoes that do not adequately cushion and protect the feet or will go barefoot entirely. Fortunately, most summertime foot problems can be treated or prevented. 

In the summertime, most people frequent warm, moist public areas, such as swimming pools, locker rooms, and showers, walking around barefoot. These places are breeding grounds for various fungi and viruses that can get into the feet, causing an infection. Tinea pedis, or athlete’s foot, is a fungal infection of the skin on the feet. It’s characterized by a red, scaly, itchy rash and skin peeling, usually found between the toes. Fungus can also infect the toenails, making them brittle, crumbly, thickened, and discolored. Human papillomavirus (HPV) is a common viral infection that can cause benign, fleshy growths called warts to grow on the soles of the feet. When going to public places, it’s suggested that you wear shoes to protect your feet from infectious agents and that you avoid sharing personal items like shoes and towels with others. 

For many people, staple summer footwear includes flip-flops and open-back, open-toe sandals. Unfortunately, these shoes are usually flimsy and don’t protect the feet or provide any support or cushioning. Some also require you to scrunch up your toes while you walk to keep the shoes on your feet. This can lead to a variety of foot and ankle injuries, heel pain, arch pain, bunions, hammertoes, and dry, cracked heels. When shopping for summer shoes, look for shoes that fit properly and have adequate cushioning in the heel and arch area. They should stay on your feet while you walk without any effort and protect your feet from the elements. If you must wear flip-flops, limit wear to just a few hours every few days, or when going to specific places like the pool or beach. 

For more information about common summer foot problems and how to treat and prevent them, please consult with a chiropodist. 

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