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You want to be barefoot at the beach, but letting your toes touch the sand poses some very real risks. Take certain precautions to keep your feet safe while at the beach or while playing water sports and boating. Proper foot care at the beach makes for healthier feet and saves you from injury.

Wash and dry

When you’re out of the water, rinse off any dirt or sand and dry your feet thoroughly. Make sure you get between your toes and your toenails. Your toenails can acquire fungal infections more easily if they’re damp.

Use sunscreen

You may not think of your feet when applying sunscreen to your chest, back, and face, but they need protection too. Your feet are vulnerable to burns and sun damage just like the rest of your body. Aim for a sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher. Ensure that it’s water resistant, and reapply it after swimming or wading.

Don’t share

Share your sunscreen, but don’t share used towels or sandals. Athlete’s foot and other microbes can be spread this way. Keep your feet to yourself.

Wear the right footwear

If you’re just walking from your spot in the sand to the shore’s edge, flip-flops are OK. But, don’t make them your regular summer footwear. They don’t support your feet and put you at risk of injury, including falling, sprained ankles, and cuts. You’re more vulnerable to arch pain and frustrating plantar fasciitis when flip-flops are your shoe of choice. Supportive sandals are a better choice.

If you’re boating or playing an outdoor sport, such as beach volleyball, wear footwear that protects your feet from impact and hazards. Tennis shoes, boat shoes, or water exercise shoes are appropriate.

Watch your step

There’s nothing quite like taking a stroll on the beach and feeling the sand on your toes, but be aware of hazards. Broken shells and plastic, holes in the sand, or sea debris can wreak havoc on tender feet. Look out for broken glass and the remains of jellyfish, too.

Temperature beware

Places in the sand away from the water can be quite hot to the touch. Your soles of the feet can burn, even though the skin there feels pretty solid. When you’re barefoot, walk nearer to the water where the sand is more comfortable.

Stay at the beach

While at the beach, you might get in the mood to be barefoot all the time. But walking on concrete, asphalt, or the boardwalk with bare feet can be hazardous. Not only are these surfaces even hotter than the sand, they may cause splinters or harbor rocks or other items that can cut your feet.

If you should suffer a foot injury while at the beach or anywhere, seek care immediately. If you have specific foot care issues, such as diabetes, talk to the team at Premier Podiatry before you leave, and know that if you do suffer an issue, the staff can help you when you return from your trip. Just call one of our offices in Normal, Eureka, or Pontiac, or click the “book online” button.

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