As Labor Day approaches and with the delta variant of COVID-19 continuing to spread across the country, Americans are likely to spend more of their time outdoors this year for gatherings and celebrations. Texans will likely be escaping the heat with gatherings along the beach, around the lake, or backyard pools and barbecues. Bluebonnet Foot and Ankle Institute is here to remind you on some safety measures to best care for your feet.
Slather on the sunscreen...including your feet!
People often forget their feet when it comes to sun protection. We see this frequently, as evidenced by the numerous flip flop tan lines that come walking into our clinic! The skin on the tops of our feet is quite thin compared to the bottom and sunburns can be quite painful. Remember to apply between the toes as well and allow it dry for at least 15 minutes before getting into the sun or water. Reapply every 2 hours for continual protection if you are outside.
Proper hydration is not only important to regulate body temperature, especially in the Texas heat, but it can help reduce joint pain, flush toxins, prevent muscle cramps and reduce leg swelling.
Avoid barefoot walking
Nothing feels better than walking barefooted in soft sand on the beach, but watch where you are stepping to prevent unwanted cuts and injuries from seashells or washed up debris. Whether you're at the beach, lake, or your backyard, avoid barefoot walking in grass or rocky terrain that can hide debris and potential hazards. Make sure you wear appropriate footwear for the activity and have situational awareness to prevent injuries and sprains. Lose the flipflops and opt instead for sturdier athletic sandals or shoes that provide you with more support.
Be prepared with a first aid kit
If you’re traveling this weekend or even if you aren’t leaving your backyard, make sure you have an appropriate first aid kit that should at least contain - antiseptic wipes, saline wash or flush, gauze, antibiotic ointement, tweezers, a variety of sizes of bandaids, rolled gauze, compressive wraps, gloves, scissors, and tape.
Tend to cuts or scrapes and seek medical care when possible
Should you sustain any cuts or injuries, make sure you tend to it immediately by washing any cuts or wounds with saline flush or antiseptic and apply clean bandaging. If you sustain an injury or sprain, remember the acronym:
RICE - rest, ice, compression, and elevate
Follow up with your podiatrist as soon as possible. Don’t let wounds or retained foreign bodies wait as infection can set in and further complicate your condition.
And as always, follow the recommended guidelines and precautions from the CDC to observe COVID-19 safety measures, mask up, and maintain proper distancing if indoors. If you are feeling sick, stay home to prevent spreading what you may have.
We wish everyone a safe and happy Labor Day weekend. Please contact us at (512) 394-5108 or schedule an appointment online at Bluebonnet Foot and Ankle Institute should you have any foot and ankle concerns.