Tips For Beach-Ready Feet

The beach can be a dangerous place. Just ask the fish! They fall prey to contagious ich, parasites and deadly chemicals in their environment. Likewise, the beach can be a danger to humans — and we’re not just talking sharks and stingrays here! Foot fungus and athlete’s foot thrive at beach bath houses, where lots of people walk barefoot with their guard down. Protect your feet this summer with the following tips.

Footwear Is Important On Vacation.

Travelers who plan to visit the beach this summer may be tempted to travel in flip-flops or sandals, as they are easy to slip off in a hurry at the airport. However, that means you’ll be traveling through the queue barefoot — which exposes you to potential germs, says the Sun-TimesInstead of sandals, the newspaper recommends choosing “comfortable slip-ons that provide a thick, stable sole” and always wearing socks through security.

Once you get to the beach, you’ll need proper footwear there, too. Dr. John R. Tkach MD of the Bozeman Skin Clinic says his colleague in graduate school collected a sample of sand from a tourist beach in Waikiki and discovered “18 species of disease-causing fungi,” in addition to toxic algae colonies. He explains, “Getting beach sand stuck under your toenails is an invitation to getting a fungus infection.”

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“If you’re at the beach, wear foot protection before heading into the bathroom to avoid nasty germs that cause athlete’s foot,” warns The Grand Rapids Press. The risks extend to more than just athlete’s foot, though. The Sun-Times warns, “Walking in no shoes at all increases your exposure to sunburn, plantar warts, athlete’s foot, ringworm, other infections and even injury.” Instead, they recommend packing a pair of water shoes and a pair of dry sneakers to change into, as “wearing wet shoes for prolonged periods may lead to bacteria or fungal growth.”

Visit A Podiatrist, Rather Than A Beauty Spa.

Many people think that going for a pedicure is the best way to get their feet beach-ready. Yet, that’s not always the case. For diabetics and people with other food conditions, a podiatrist is a much more sanitary place to have issues addressed. Here, you can tackle everything from blisters, plantar’s warts, athlete’s foot and toenail fungus, to hammer toes, ulcers, calluses and bunions — in a safe, sterile environment.

Need to find a qualified professional podiatrist? Try searching here:

– American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons

American Society of Podiatric Surgeons

American Board of Podiatric Surgery

Home Care Will Improve Confidence In Your Feet, Too.

There are several products you can buy to improve your hygiene at home as well. Before leaving for vacation, you can zap smelly shoes with the SteriShoe UV light shoe sanitizer to kill up to 99.9 percent of the microbes that cause your feet to stink. You can also use a pumice stone to rub off dead skin and slather your feet in hydrating lotion. Make sure to treat any blisters or skin aberrations promptly — treating with Neosporin and covering them with Band-Aids to prevent infection.

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