With summer in full swing you hopefully are getting to enjoy time at some of our beautiful Long Island beaches. A beach day is fun and relaxing for the whole family—if you take a few precautions to protect your feet. Below are a few seaside spoilers that we at Long Island Foot and Ankle Group, PC want our patients to avoid:
Too Hot to Handle
Bare feet on scorching sand or super-heated asphalt can lead to blistering burns on the bottom of the feet. It’s hard to detect just how hot a surface is until you step on it and by the time you “hot foot it” to your beach blanket or the water the damage may be done. Not only are burn blisters incredibly painful, they can quickly become infected. Wear water shoes to prevent burns.
Cut it Out
Another reason to wear shoes is protect feet from cuts and puncture wounds. Sharp shells, nails, glass and other debris are not always visible in the sand until your step on them. Depending on the object you step on and where it is on your foot, a wound can be surface or even damage tendons or muscles. The opening in the skin allows harmful bacteria to enter and therefore if you do cut your foot you should not go in the water.
Twists and Turns
Who doesn’t enjoy an impromptu game of beach volleyball or extreme Frisbee? But due to the shifting nature of sand it’s easy to twist an ankle or knee making that one awesome play. It’s a good idea to keep a pair of sneakers in your beach bag if surfside sports are a possibility to give your feet and ankles the proper support.
Don’t Feel the Burn
A classic beach day mistake? Not applying sunscreen to the bottom of your feet if you’re planning to lay out all afternoon on your beach blanket or sand chair. Always apply a sunscreen that protects against UVA and UVB rays and is water resistant. Reapply after swimming and with the same frequency that you apply to the rest of your body. Not only will this protect your feet short term from painful sunburns, but it will also help prevent deadly melanomas and other forms of skin cancer in the future.
If, in spite of all your efforts to keep your feet safe at the beach, you do end up with an injury, contact our Valley Stream or Lake Success office for an appointment as soon as possible. Our foot and ankle surgeons, Dr. Russell Caprioli, Dr. Mary Ann Bilotti, Dr. John Haight or Dr. Marzana Mleczko, will want to examine your feet and be sure that any wound or injuries are treated promptly to prevent infection and further injury.