Who doesn’t love a good beach day? Whether you plan on staying in the water or just want to chill out with a good book, it’s pretty difficult not to enjoy this environment. It’s a low-effort activity to hang at the beach, but neglecting to take care of our feet can cause foot conditions in the future. These include calluses, cuts, scrapes and even infections like athlete’s foot.
It’s important to remember your foot health when heading to your favourite Toronto beach. That’s why you’re going to want to know these 5 beach day foot care secrets.
Here Are 5 Beach Day Foot Care Secrets
- Apply sunscreen
- Don’t forget your sandals
- Moisturize your feet
- Be mindful of shared spaces
- Watch your step
We’re all used to lathering up our backs, arms and legs, but you should also be sure to apply your sunscreen to your feet (including the toes) before enjoying your day at the beach. This is especially true for the top of the foot, which will be in the most direct contact with the sun and more susceptible to sunburns.
Foot Health Facts notes the dangers of forgetting your feet when applying your sunscreen. Your feet can get a pretty severe sunburn if you ignore them! By neglecting your feet, you’re putting yourself at risk of developing melanoma. You should also be sure to pay attention to any new moles or freckles you didn’t have before!
Don’t Forget Your Sandals
Naturally, you’re going to want to enjoy how the sand feels! However, you still need to come prepared with high-quality sandals. For example, you’ll need them when you take bathroom breaks or while exploring. Also, for walks along the beach, you should probably wear your sandals and not spend the entire walk barefoot.
Walking in cheap flip flops with poor support or going barefoot for too long can cause foot pain. More specifically, walking barefoot for too long places more pressure on the weight-bearing areas (ball of the foot, bottom of the heel) and affects the biomechanics of our feet. This can lead to issues like plantar fasciitis. Walking barefoot for long distances can also excessively harden the skin on the bottom of our feet, causing other foot conditions, like foot calluses and corns. People with diabetes should avoid walking barefoot for short or long distances all together.
Some of our favourite shoe brands that carry sandals for your day at the beach include Mephisto, FitFlop, Naot and Clarks. All of these brands use moisture-wicking materials for good foot hygiene, and feature different midsole technologies to alleviate stress on the feet and joints. Your sandals are also going to come in handy when you’re trying to avoid sharp objects and while using shared spaces. We’ll get into this a little later!
Moisturize Your Feet
Moisturizing can prevent dry skin after your beach day and is one of the most important aspects of beach foot care. While sand is a natural exfoliator when combined with water, it can also dry your skin out if you spend most of the day in dry sand. A good tip would be to get your feet wet and rub your feet in the sand, but afterwards, you should clean them and moisturize them when you get home.
A good moisturizing routine can keep your skin silky soft and also help soften calluses already on your feet. You should moisturize each foot daily, and before heading to the beach, covering all areas including between your toes. Gehwol carries a wide selection of moisturizing products that you can use after heading home and cleaning your feet.
If you don’t want to wait until you get home, you can also use Gehwol Fusskraft Herbal Lotion spray while you’re at the beach. It comes in a convenient spray bottle that you can throw into your beach bag. Just spray a few pumps on your feet to instantly soften and cool them off. It’s perfect for getting rid of that uncomfortable hot, dry itchy feeling from the sand, so your feet feel nice and refreshed until you can get home and wash them.
Be Mindful of Shared Spaces
Many beaches in Toronto have shared bathrooms and even showers. Walking barefoot or without proper footwear in these communal areas can cause foot conditions such as athlete’s foot and plantar warts. These conditions are highly contagious, and can be contracted by walking barefoot on the floor of a frequently used shower or bathroom.
The bathrooms, locker rooms, showers, boardwalks and paved areas by the beach are a common breeding ground for dermatophytes, the fungus that causes athlete’s foot. HPV, the virus that causes plantar warts, also thrives these types of wet, warm environments. When you’re spending the day at the beach, you should either avoid these areas or only use them while wearing protective footwear.
Watch Your Step
Of course, you’re going to want to dig your feet into the warm, soft sand when you’re at the beach. That said, sand isn’t the only thing on the beach! There are often areas with sharp twigs, glass, and sadly trash that can cut or scrape the bottom of your feet. If you aren’t careful, you could end up with a serious wound. This is especially true for people with diabetes; even a small scrape can lead to major complications when you have diabetes.
Highlighting the importance of sandals once again, you’ll also need them for exploring different areas. You should also wear sturdy, supportive, high-quality sandals while walking down any paths or boardwalks, as these structures can often have splinters or rusty nails that can hurt your feet.
Don’t Forget Beach Foot Care This Summer!
We hope you’re ready for your next relaxing day in the sun! That said, there is a lot more to summer foot care, and our Toronto foot specialists are prepared to answer any of your questions. Our Bloor West foot clinic is happy to guide you towards healthy and happy feet for the rest of the summer.
Call us at 416-769-3338 or Book Your Assessment Today!