It’s summer and for most women in Michigan it is the only time of year to show off some fancy and brightly colored toenails. A couple coats of shiny nail polish and some open toed shoes and your feet are transformed back to beautiful and it feels good to not be locked up in a closed shoe or boot. However, the beauty of your feet can come at a price.
Dr. Popofski and Dr. Shanahan have some tips to help avoid some common issues.
- Don’t wear nail polish for more than 3 consecutive days! Wearing nail polish for a long time period can not only stain your nails but more importantly it can trap fungal elements living on your nails and give the fungus a wonderful opportunity to set up shop and become an infection. This can cause yellowing, thickening, peeling and odor of your toenails that will require long-term treatment to overcome. It is important to remove your toenail polish and allow nails to “breathe” for several days before wearing polish again. Under your nail polish, you should use a basecoat with bionutrients and anti-fungal properties to protect your natural nail from fungal infections and staining of the nail plate. In our office we have products to effectively prevent and treat fungal infections of the nails.
- Don’t go barefoot in public places or outside as much as possible! Going barefoot in public places (pools, waterparks, bathrooms, the gym, etc) can expose your tootsies to fungal infections of the skin (Athlete’s foot), viruses that cause warts as well as bacteria than can cause skin infections. These infections can also be picked up in nail salons so beware of this risk and inquire about the salon’s sterilization of instruments and soaking tubs. Sanitizing does NOT mean sterilizing!!! Wear shoes that can be cleansed with bleach-based cleaners and cleanse shoes after wear in public areas. Dr. Popofski and Dr. Shanahan see a great number of patients in the summer months with infections of the skin and also many types of foreign bodies in their feet. These conditions can really put a damper on summer fun and also cause serious infections and pain.
- Wear supportive shoes as much as possible! In the summer heat, it is hard to tell patients to not wear sandals or flip-flops but beware that these type of shoes can cause foot problems. If your arch is not supported well, it increases your risk of developing heel pain, tendonitis and other foot deformities. Wearing flimsy flip-flops forces your toes to attempt to grip the shoe and this can progressively increase your chance of developing hammertoes. We see a large number of patients in the late summer and early autumn with heel pain and tendonitis from wearing non-supportive shoes. If you develop foot pain, make an appointment with us so we can get you started on a treatment plan before your pain becomes severe. There are brands of summer shoes that offer better support than those of the past so come in and ask us about them!
- Closely inspect the condition of the skin of your feet daily! Skin that is too moist or too dry is susceptible to many different problems. Skin that is too moist can easily develop fungal and bacterial infections especially between the toes that can be difficult to get rid of. Over the counter anti-fungal medications are not very effective and a prescription medication may be required to treat your condition. Skin that is too dry is susceptible to cracking and peeling. If skin becomes callused and then cracked (called a fissure), it can cause serious pain, bleeding and an infection can occur. Callus development on the feet can result from abnormal pressure and ill-fitting shoes. Calluses are not only unsightly but they can be painful as well and indicate that there is an underlying bone deformity. Dr. Popofski and Dr. Shanahan have several ways to treat these conditions and get your feet back in tip-top shape.
Call us at Lakes Foot and Ankles Associates to schedule an appointment!