Ah…soft sand, salt water and cool breezes—there’s nothing like a day at the beach. At Gentle Professional Foot Care, we’d like to offer a few reminders, however, for ways to keep your feet safe and avoid injuries at the beach.
1. Wear flip-flops or water shoes. Did you know that sand temperature can be up to 30 degrees higher than the air temperature? That means a 90-degree day can result in sand temperatures that are 120 degrees—hot enough to give you a second or third-degree burn on the bottom of your feet. Beach shoes will also provide protection from fungal infections when you use the restroom and changing areas.
2. Don’t forget to reapply sunscreen. Even water-resistant sunscreen loses its protective capabilities after wading or swimming. Apply to the bottoms of your feet as well if you are laying out on a towel or a lounge chair.
3. Bring sneakers for sports and walking. If you plan to go walking on the beach or play some volleyball, frisbee or other sport in the sand, a pair of sneakers is essential for two reasons. First, the thick soles of the sneaker will protect your foot from cuts and puncture wounds if you come down hard on a piece of glass or shell buried in the sand. In addition, ankle sprains, heel pain and soreness in the arch of your foot are all more likely if you play barefoot. The shifting sand puts additional strain on your feet and increases the risk of injury and foot pain.
4. Take extra care if you have diabetes. For patients with diabetes, the above injuries can quickly result in a serious infection. It’s essential for these patients to keep feet covered and to check shoes periodically to make sure there isn’t a shell or small pebble inside that could rub on your foot and cause a blister or cut. When you get home at the end of the day, wash and inspect your feet thoroughly. If you notice any redness, rash, blisters or cuts, contact our Venice office for an appointment at: 941-493-7999. Our podiatrist, Dr. Charles A. Suleskey will want to examine your feet and make sure there is no infection developing.