Our Dedicated Austin Foot and Ankle Doctors Offer Tips for Maintaining Healthy Feet During Your Vacation

When you’re planning a vacation, many people hope to kick back and get some much-needed rest and relaxation. But even a week or two of de-stressing can mean a lot of walking. Sightseeing, visiting interesting places, and wandering sandy beaches can leave you with sore feet. Taking care of your feet on vacation

The dedicated podiatrists at Austin Foot and Ankle Specialists want all of our patients to enjoy pain-free vacations that keep their feet healthy and strong every day. We offer some tips that can help you safeguard your feet while on vacation.

Vacation Mistakes That Lead to Foot Injuries

People sometimes behave differently on trips than they do at home. The choices they make in the name of relaxation can lead to unanticipated injuries. Sometimes vacationers do the following:

Wear the Wrong Shoes

The wrong vacation footwear can lead to blisters, corns, callouses, pain, and other issues because vacationers often wear:

  • Brand new shoes that haven’t been broken in
  • Shoes that aren’t intended for the activities they are doing, such as hiking or walking thousands of steps through an amusement park
  • Shoes that don’t breathe
  • Cheaper shoes that don’t offer arch support and shock absorption

Walk Barefoot

Worse than wearing the wrong shoes is not wearing shoes at all. Shoes are your best protection against:

  • Hot sand and pavement that can cause burns
  • Sharp shells, glass, and coral that can leave cuts
  • Sea creatures that can sting your feet
  • Fungus that loves to grow in warm, damp places and can transfer to your feet on contact

Injuries you suffer without shoes can lead to infections and ulcers, which are not souvenirs you want to take home. We recommend water shoes to protect your feet from dangers you could encounter at the beach and provide your feet with arch support and cushioning.

Flip-flops are a good idea for protecting your feet from infections in locker rooms, hotel bathrooms, and around pools, but they should be worn sparingly because:

  • They do not offer arch support or absorb the impact on your feet
  • They offer only a thin layer of protection from common beach hazards
  • They change the way you walk, especially on sand, which can cause pain in your hips, knees, and back

Fail to Apply Sunscreen to Their Feet

Your feet can burn just as easily as the rest of your body if you fail to protect them. Feet can also develop melanoma and other forms of cancer. To avoid these issues, always apply sunscreen to the tops and bottoms of your feet. When applying sunscreen, be sure to do so at least 30 minutes before you plan to go out into the sun for best results and reapply according to the directions on the bottle.

Go in the Water With Cuts on Their Feet

Oceans, lakes, and other bodies of water are full of bacteria, which can enter your skin through puncture wounds and cuts. This can be particularly dangerous for people with diabetes and other medical conditions that reduce their ability to feel the pain of an injury or infection.

Forget to Check Their Feet After a Day at the Beach

Patients with diabetes should be especially diligent about checking their feet for injuries. After a day at the beach, you might experience sunburn, particularly on the tops of your feet; you might have blisters from new shoes or flip-flops; or you might suffer cuts from glass and other litter on the beach. If you have neuropathy, examine your feet when you return from the beach

Share Towels

Even though you might just be brushing off the sand and quickly drying your feet, contact with a towel containing fungus or bacteria can spread the infection to your body. You don’t want to risk athlete’s foot or fungal toenails, so be sure the towel you grab hasn’t already been used by someone else.

How Our Austin Podiatrists Suggest Preventing Vacation Foot Injuries

You can avoid many common vacation foot injuries by being careful and diligent about your foot care. Additionally, we recommend you take the following action in the days and weeks before your trip to help ensure your feet return home in good condition:

  • Pack a first aid kit for your feet that includes bandages, blister pads/moleskin, topical antibiotic, toenail clippers, and tweezers.
  • Use a pumice stone and moisturizer to ensure the skin on your feet is in good shape.
  • Gradually increase how much you are walking over the weeks and months before your vacation to avoid overuse injuries, and identify which shoes will be most comfortable for your trip.
  • Stretch, exercise, and elevate your feet during your travels to reduce swelling
  • Stay hydrated to improve circulation and minimize swelling.
  • Resist the urge to cross your legs while seated, as this can reduce circulation.

Why You Should Visit Our Texas Podiatrists Before You Leave on Vacation

The podiatrists in our Austin, Texas office can help keep your feet healthy while on your trip. We can:

  • Help ensure you are aware of any existing cuts, scrapes, or other issues you might not have noticed on your feet
  • Trim your toenails if you are unable to do so to avoid ingrown nails and related problems
  • Recommend specific stretches that can maximize circulation in your feet
  • Help you select the right shoes for the type of vacation you’re taking
  • Offer advice about orthotics for shoes that may not have as much arch support or shock absorption as desired
Craig Thomajan
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Austin Podiatrist
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