How To Take Care Of Your Feet When You Travel
It is summer, and that means family vacations! When you travel, it is important to also take care of your feet, in any season. Here are my top tips:
Foot prep pedicure- Especially in the summer, women like to get pedicures, and getting ready to travel is a great excuse. On vacation, you want your toes to look their best in all the sandals and pictures you will take, plus lets face it, getting pampered just feels good! When getting a pedicure, look for a salon that sterilizes their instruments and uses them only on one person at at time. Also, observe how they clean the soaking tub because this is a fertile place for fungus (that could cause fungal nails or athlete’s foot) and viruses (that could cause warts) to lurk. Also, consider bringing your own nail polish and/or base coat if you want to make sure there is no cross contamination. Between each client, the scrub should be thoroughly scrubbed. Some salons even use plastic liners - even better! In addition, consider shaving your legs AFTER the pedicure. The reason is because shaving can cause many micro cuts in the skin, and you don't want t be soaking in any type of tub with possible skin open wounds!
Consider wearing gym shoes in the airport with socks!- Airports, security, check in gates, and long lines often await you in the airport. If you have a comfortable pair of gym shoes, the standing and walking may not seem like burden. In addition, it is good to be wearing a pair of socks to protect your feet when you have to remove your shoes walking through the security line and detecter. Going barefoot on the airport floor may introduce bacteria, fungus, or viruses to the bottom of your foot. So protect that skin with a pair of socks! Plus, your feet will thank you if you walk around in gym shoes and socks.
If you have orthotics, then be sure to bring them on vacation. What better way to make sure you bring them than to wear them that same day! Especially if your vacation involves a lot of walking or hiking, it is important to wear your orthotics in order to keep your feet injury free.
Stretch and hydrate on long airplane or car rides; consider wearing compression stockings – Long spans stretches of time sitting and not moving your feet is a risk for a Deep Vein Thrombsis, or DVT. A DVT can be life threatening as it represents a blood clot forming in a vein in your leg that may travel to your lungs. Warning signs of a DVT in your leg may be calf or leg cramping, the calf or leg swelling and turning red and warm to touch, or even if you have shortness of breath or coughing for no reason; this may indicate that a blood clot has traveled from your leg to your lungs, and this is a dangerous sign that needs immediate medical attention. Ways to prevent this are adequate hydration, getting up and moving around at least once an hour, and even consider wearing compression stockings. These will enable the blood flow in your veins to work against gravity and enhance return to your heart. Drinking water and staying hydrated will also help prevent a DVT.
Bring several pairs of shoes, never just one. You need the correct shoe for the correct activity! – Don’t expect to wear the same pair of shoes the whole time you are on vacation. Be sure to bring the correct shoes for the correct activity. For example, if you are hiking, you can’t do this in sandals, and for the same reason, water activities or the beach may need sandals instead of close toed shoes. In the summertime with sandals, remember to apply sunscreen to your feet too! In addition, changing shoes will prevent areas pressure from forming blisters. Limit your use of flip flops as they are very flat and have little arch support for your feet that can in turn cause tendonitis or even a stress fracture if you walk long distances without support.
If there is something wrong – seek attention! - You may get aches and pains, or a blister or other foot issue. If you feel uncomfortable or are in pain that cannot be easily relieved, seek attention! Especially if you have an injury, be sure to get help either at an urgent care or seek first aid at an outside venue. And then when you return from your vacation, make a follow up with one of our doctors to make sure the diagnosis and treatment plan are correct and for someone to see it through to resolution.
If you have any questions regarding foot care whether you are on your way out of town or you are staying in town, do not hesitate to contact our office! Our doctors will perform a thorough exam, and take digital Xrays on the spot and review them with you. Call today!