Summer is the time for footloose and fancy-free senior living, and the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA) has advice that’s sure to help you put your best foot forward this summer.
Practice anti-aging foot care.
1. Limit sun exposure.
- Over-exposure to the sun is responsible for more than 90 percent of the visible changes in skin elasticity that are commonly attributed to natural aging. Limit the amount of time you spend outdoors in your bare feet to promote healthier senior living.
- Wear shoes instead of sandals or flip-flops to lessen the impact that the sun has on your skin and also reduce your risk of injuring your feet or developing plantar warts, athlete's foot, ringworm, and other infections.
2. Remember to apply sunscreen on any exposed skin—that means your feet too!
Apply a broad spectrum sunscreen of at least 15 SPF all over your feet, paying special attention to the tops and fronts of your ankles. Apply early to the sunscreen soak in for a deeper level of protection then make sure to reapply after taking a dip in the pool or after every two hours spent outside.
3. Staying hydrated can be instrumental in foot care and overall senior wellness this summer.
Drinking plenty of water and sports drinks to replace your electrolytes thwarts the deadly duo of dehydration and heat-related illness and also minimize any foot swelling caused by the heat.
4. Create a foot care toolkit:
- A pair of flip-flops or slip-on shoes offer protection whether you’re at the pool, spa, or hotel room, and they’re easy to remove at airport security check points.
- Sterile bandages and antibiotic cream can help you take care of any minor cuts and scrapes you may pick up along the way.
- Blister pads or moleskin protect against blisters when senior living becomes more active during the summer.
- An emollient-enriched cream and pumice stone keep your skin smooth and well-hydrated.
- Anti-inflammatory medicines like Motrin or Advil help ease aches and pains after a day spent on your feet.
- Clippers and an emery board help keep your toenails tidy.
- A broad-spectrum sunscreen protects your skin from the aging UV rays of the sun.
- Aloe vera or Silvadene cream relieve the sunburns you develop when you forget to reapply your sunscreen.
Go the extra mile to protect your feet.
1. If you plan on visiting public places like campgrounds, pools or beaches this summer, you should consider investing in a pair of comfortable waterproof shoes.
You can prevent injuries and lower your chances of contracting any bacterial infections by wearing shoes, or even flip-flops, in high-traffic areas like pools, beaches, and locker rooms. And think twice about kicking your shoes off as soon as you get back to the hotel. A whole stampede of feet have dug toes into that carpeting and padded across the bathroom tile. For the best results look for a pair of waterproof shoes with a good tread that you can wear on slippery surfaces without worrying about a fall.
2. Choose the right footwear for every occasion.
Some activities at the beach, lake or river may require different types of footwear, so always check to see if you need specific shoes before trying a new summer activity. Pack an extra pair of sneakers or protective water shoes that have a good tread just to be safe, especially if your shoes will be getting wet as damp shoes are a breeding ground for bacteria and fungus.
3. Know what steps to take when you’re injured.
You can treat normal wear and tear with your foot care toolkit, but more serious injuries like broken bones and sprains require professional medical attention from a podiatric physician. The APMA Find a Podiatrist tool can help you get the care you need wherever and whenever you’re injured.
Image Credit: thomaswanhoff