Summer foot health hazards

Summer staples can also be the season's most fashionable health hazards. Flip flops, strappy sandals, wedges and the pedicures to go with them, make this a busy time of year for podiatrists.

A common pain brings summer shoe lovers to Center for Orthopaedics foot and ankle specialist, Dr. Tyson Green, like clockwork with warmer weather. "There's a reason why we are flooded with people with heel pain and arch pain and back of the heel pain during the summer," he said.

The culprits: warm weather wear for the feet, starting with the beloved flip flop. "If you do not have a support base or some sort of arch support or a little bit of a heel height, a real flat flip flop usually causes a lot of problem over time," said Dr. Green.

Those problems range from heel pain, arch pain and overuse that could lead to surgery. "If people are going to be walking a whole bunch, whether it's on a trip or in the summer," said Dr. Green, "walking around, flip flops usually cause a lot of problems."

Another potentially hazardous summer style: wedges and sandals, lacking base support and oftentimes boasting a tall sole that can result in balance issues. "Wedges and strappy sandals, just be smart about it and make the base, where you're actually walking is the most important thing," said Dr. Green.

If all this foot talk has you ready to relax and soak your feet, make sure your summer pedicure involves a tub that has had its jets and drains disinfected. "When it fills up with water, you're introducing bacteria and fungus that you had from prior patients in there and then you're just sitting your feet into this foot soak of bacteria and fungus," said Dr. Green.

Finally, keep your cuticles!  Pedicures might involve pushing them back or clipping them, but Dr. Green says that takes away your toes' last protection. "That's something that you definitely want to keep there," said Dr. Green, "because it's there for a reason and it's there to prevent you from infection, such as fungus and bacteria."

Pedicures and summer shoes can be enjoyed, but moderation and hygiene is key to keeping your feet healthy before burying them in the sand.

Learn how to make the best choices for your feet this summer at a free community seminar with Dr. Tyson Green and Kalieb Pourciau at Center for Orthopaedics on Thursday, May 16. It is at 5:30 and pre-registration is requested.  Call 721-2903 or click here to register.

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