Summer Feet Series Part 1 of 7: How to protect your feet in the summer according to Dr. Suzanne Levine and the Institute Beauté.
Everyone loves the summer. For many it is the best time of the year. I mean, azure blue sky, golden sunshine, warm water, and the soft sand of the beach caressing your feet – who needs heaven? “I love the summer beach too,” says Dr. Suzanne Levine. “From Coney Island while growing up in Brooklyn to the upcoming ‘authors weekend’ in East Hampton in 2014. But in my office at Institute Beauté, I commonly see the dangers that lurk for the unwary and careless.”
Sunburn: The sun is strongest in the summer, especially from 11 AM to 3 PM. The skin on your feet is easily as subject to sunburn as your face or arms—actually probably more so, because it is normally covered by your shoes and has not built up protection. So always remember to apply a SPF 30 or more to your feet as well as all exposed skin areas, and reapply every few hours. Be cautious, the sun not only damages your skin – making it age prematurely—it also increases the risk of skin cancer.
Flip flops are a summer favorite—but for your feet, not so much. They do protect your feet from hot sand and pavement. They do give minimal protection when stepping on something that could cut your feet. But they are meant to be worn only for short walks—not long hikes. Why? Dr. Suzanne Levine says, “They provide no arch support. They do not protect your feet from the sun. They provide only minimal protect from injuring your feet. And because you have to keep flip flops on by gripping them with your toes, they may increase the chance of developing a neuroma.” Dr. Levine also warns, “Because flip flops flip—they increase your chance of tripping. So wear them to and from your car and wear them in a ‘shoes and shirt required’ restaurant at the beach. But do not wear them while walking around town or for a relaxing walk on that country trail.”
For more information on proper foot wear and foot protection, see Dr. Suzanne Levine’s new book, “My Feet Are Killing Me”, also available at Barnes and Nobles, Amazon, iBooks, and other fine book sellers.