Friday, July 13, 2007

Healthy Feet and Flip-Flops

In the midst of summer fun and heat, we often shed our shoes for bare feet or flip-flops so we can hang out comfortably at the beach or by the pool. Although flip-flops are easy for outdoor activities, they are not the ideal shoe to wear all summer long.

According to Marybeth Crane, a sports podiatrist in Texas, "Flip-flops were never mean to be everyday shoes. They were meant to wear from the locker room to the pool and back." Marlene Reid, a podiatrist from Illinois, agrees with Crane when she states, "Flip-flops are great for the beach as an alternative to being barefoot." For the rest of the summer, Reid feels, "there are better choices."

Because flip-flops offer little cushioning and support, wearing them constantly during the summer can affect the sensitive skin on your feet and cause heel calluses, hammer toes and irritation in between your toes that may even lead to fungal infections.

Choose sensible sandals and sneakers with plenty of support during the summer. Change your shoes everyday to give them an opportunity to dry out so fungus does not grow in them.

To take extra care of your feet, make sure to wash them before bed with a gentle soap and apply body lotion to soften them overnight. Also, many people forget their feet when they apply sunscreen lotion, so make sure to put sunscreen on your feet when you're outdoors to avoid a painful sunburn between your sandal straps.

With a bit of extra care, your feet will be healthy and attractive all summer.

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