6 Reasons to Visit a Podiatrist Before Summer
Our feet work hard for us- taking us everywhere we need to go, providing balance and handle a lot of wear and tear daily. The hot summer months are especially stressful for our feet because of the heat and moisture. Get your feet summer ready by scheduling an appointment with your local podiatrist. Below are 6 reasons to visit a podiatrist before summer.
1. An Increase in Activity
During the summer we begin our beach body workouts, we go hiking and take walks on the beach. All this activity and heat causes the 250,000 sweat glands in the feet to excrete half a pint of moisture per day. Extra activity causes your feet to be at risk from the extra demand, especially if the feet are not used to it.
Before beginning a new strenuous workout routine or going for long walks, talk to your foot doctor to make sure your feet are ready for your summer activities.
2. Find Best Footwear for You
Often times people wear the wrong footwear because they choose shoes for their appearance rather than comfort and their foot type. A podiatrist will examine your arch and suggest supporting shoes for your type of feet.
The foot is one of the most complex parts of your body containing 26 bones and 100 muscles so it is important to understand its structure. There are many possible foot conditions that may cause regular shoes to be uncomfortable for you. Some examples are overpronation in which is an excessive rolling of the feet inward while walking or supination which is a rolling of the feet outward. Wearing the right shoes can treat the discomfort caused by these issues.
The foot doctor will also check your gait. If you have an arthritic joint in the foot your gait will change. Your foot doctor will be able to examine your feet and the way you walk and recommend the proper shoes to improve your gait.
3. Beautify Your Feet for Open Toe Shoes
Summer is the time of open-toe flip flops and sandals. If you have any exterior foot problems you will want to treat these before putting on your summer shoes. If you have calluses, corns, bunions, or athletes foot your foot doctor can treat these before summer.
A callus is hardened skin on the feet from excessive rubbing, pressure, and friction. A podiatrist can remove calluses painlessly in minutes. A corn is a type of callus, except it is painful when you press on it.
A bunion is an inflammation of the big toe joint. Bunions cause your big toe to push on the other toes and create a bony protrusion on the side of your foot. Depending on the stage of your bunion your podiatrist can pad the bunion to reduce pain, prescribe injections to treat the pain or remove the bunion with surgery.
Athletes foot is a very common foot problem. More than 3 million Americans present with it a year. It is a fungus, usually between the toes of the feet. It is more common in summer because of frequent sweating. A foot doctor will prescribe medication to quickly treat the symptoms of athletes foot while working on preventing the causes.
4. Summer Heat
The hot summer months cause the many sweat glands of your feet to sweat, creating a breeding ground for many infections. However, heat simultaneously dries the skin out. Soaking your feet to prevent dryness seems like a logical solution, however, soaking also dries out the skin on the feet.
Heat causes our bodies to retain moisture and swell. This includes our feet. Add socks and tight shoes on top of that and the feet become the perfect host for bacteria to grow. Due to the inflammation caused by the heat, the bones of the feet are constricted in your shoes. That pressure causes you pain. Try wearing loose shoes, light socks that allow your feet to breathe in the summer, and allow your feet some rest. If you still experience foot pain, talk to your foot doctor.
5. Treat Ingrown Toenails
Heat creates perfect conditions for ingrown toenails. You may have noticed that your ingrown toenails aren’t as bad in the winter. In the summer, your feet sweat causing the skin to soften. The nail, however, is still hard. This causes the nail to easily grow into the skin.
A podiatrist will remove the ingrown part of the toenail to alleviate your pain and prescribe medication if an infection is present. Be more comfortable in the summer heat without the pain from ingrown toenails.
6. Preventative Measures
As mentioned above, heat creates a breeding ground for infections and problems with our feet. A podiatrist can inform you of preventative measures to prevent these problems before they arise.
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