When I was young, I remember my mother was hobbling around one summer. She went from hobbling in the summer to needing crutches in the fall! She started with a minor infection and didn’t think it was anything really until she wasn’t even able to walk on her foot. That fall she ended up with a full blown infection on the bottom of her foot. Her foot was twice the size of what it normally would be. Her primary care doctor tried to treat it, but he eventually had to send her to a foot specialist when it wasn’t getting any better. Her podiatrist told her she had a serious infection and it was a good thing she came in when she did. The infection was still contained in her foot, but could have spread to the other parts of her body.
She asked the doctor how she could have gotten the infection and he explained that she could have gotten it from any type of public shower, like at a hotel or pool. That year we had gone on vacation and stayed in numerous hotels. It never dawned on her that she would need to protect her feet in a hotel shower. After that scare with her foot, she went out and bought non-skid water shoes for the whole family and every time we used a public shower or any other public area that was wet, we would wear them.
During these warm months, I wanted to remind people that your feet need to be protected when you are out in public. But walking in public isn’t the only danger to your feet in the summer.
With the warm weather, people don’t think twice about walking around barefoot especially on their decks. Bare feet feel great but it is important to be careful where you are walking around with no shoes. Wearing shoes on a deck is a good way to avoid splinters. Luckily with the new composite decking splinters aren’t as prevalent, but if you have pressure treated wood on your deck, you need to take care. When the deck boards nailed or screwed in, the wood splinters. The splintering of the wood makes your foot more susceptible to splinters which could lead to an infection in your foot.
Keeping your feet healthy this summer is really quite easy. Once you are aware of places that can cause an infection in your foot, you will be able to prevent it from happening to you. If for some reason you find you have an infection in your foot, give our office a call and ask for an emergency appointment (845) 298-9074.
Hollowbrook Foot Specialist serving the Hudson Valley from Wappingers Falls.
by David Schlam