David Weiss, DPM
Getting your feet ready for the spring
As the weather gets warmer, we are inclined to put away our winter boots and get our spring footwear ready. The protection that one obtains from wearing boots and winter shoes can be sometimes understated. The best way to protect feet and toes from injury is to wear shoes.
With the warmer weather comes less protective footwear and sometimes barefoot walking that can be troublesome.
One of greatest hazards of barefoot walking is puncture wounds. Puncture wounds can lead to devastating infections that if unchecked can lead to serious problems. It is imperative that a patient with a puncture wound be seen immediately to clean out the wound from possible infection. It is also important to make sure you’ve been vaccinated against tetanus. Experts recommend teens and adults get a booster shot every 10 years.
Barefoot walking can also lead to plantar warts and athlete’s foot. This can be found in greatest concentrations at swimming pools. Bacteria, fungi and viruses reside in abundance at swimming pool locker rooms. The best way to avoid them is wearing flip flops or water shoes at the pool or locker room. It should go without saying, that if you are mowing the lawn please doesn’t walk barefoot or potential injury waits. Diabetic patients should also resist the temptation to walk barefoot.
It is also recommended to apply sunscreen to the tops and bottoms of your feet. Skin cancer can develop on the feet because the sun does not discriminate what part of your skin gets burned. With that in mind it is also recommended to inspect your feet for moles or freckles and have a foot doctor evaluate them for suspicious lesions. The earlier the diagnosis is made the easier the condition is to treat.
Flip flops can also lead to problems. Unlike sturdy shoes, flip-flops aren’t good for extensive walking because they offer no arch support, heel cushioning or shock absorption. In recent years flip flops have improved but generally extended walking should be with sneakers worn. They can be worn in moderation but not overdone, much like everything else in life.
The nicer weather also is great because people tend to be more active, but this can lead to stress injuries to those that have been very sedentary during the winter. This winter would have been easy to do that. Remember to ease into any workout program and not to do too much too soon.
Adherence to these tips will hopefully ensure a pain free Spring.
David Weiss, DPM, is the owner of Weiss Foot & Ankle Center located at 777 South White Horse Pike, Suite D1 in Hammonton. For more information or to make an appointment, call 561-2488 or visit weissfootandankle.com.