Foot and Ankle Specialist St Petersburg FL

Spring Break 2024: Keep your feet happy!

Spring Break 2024 is quickly approaching! As out-of-towners visit for vacation & locals spend more time at the beach, local cold springs, amusement parks & more, Align Foot and Ankle would like to give some pointers on how to care for your feet & ankles while enjoying all that Florida has to offer.

First, I want to stress the importance of our feet. They’re often overlooked & ignored. No they aren’t your heart, brain or lungs, but if you lose the use of your feet, suddenly your entire life changes dramatically. Foot pain or an injury can really throw a wrench in your plans! Believe me, you don’t want to be wheeled around the beach in a wheelchair!

Spring Break 2024 Keep your feet happy

BEACH SHOE-GEAR
So, first things first…though the beach is beautiful, there are some things to pay attention to stay safe. AKA, be aware of your surroundings. The Ocean Floor and beaches have sharp natural and artificial objects that can poke or cut your feet. Where there are shells, so should be shoes! Your feet are not tougher than the shell or sea urchin (like I removed from a heel last week). Trust me. I pulled a 2cm long barb out of a life-long Fishermans foot last week. Wear water-shoes.

We have recommended several different brands, including: Minnow (watershoe & kids sizes), Archies (arch support, foam sole sandals), Natives (full coverage, water shoe, very versatile & kids sizes) and Tropic Feel (more of a running shoe).

Spring Break 2024 Keep your feet happy

BEACH WALKING/RUNNING
Once you have the right shoes & you decide to go for a walk or jog on the beach, keep a few things in mind before you start! If you are not used to walking or running on the beach, start out slow and easy! Wear a sneaker if possible. Overt side to side motion from the shifting sands can cause plantar fasciitis, tendonitis, and joint flare ups. Your foot is not used to the softer terrain, so start your runs slow and gradually increase distance. I also recommend stretching your calves but dropping your heels off the back of a step/curb 1-3x a day for 60 second intervals. Extra attention to stretching, shoe gear, and gradual distance will save a trip to Align Foot and Ankle.

SALT WATER AND CUTS
After your morning walk or jog, it’s time for that rejuvenating dip in the ocean! Well, I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but it is a misconception that salt water is good for your cuts. The salty sea can dry up a cut, but the salt water is also carrying contaminants and bacteria. Open cuts or wounds allow opportunistic bacteria in your vulnerable wound & can cause major infections. Same applies for pools. If you have a cut, it’s always safe to avoid pools or the ocean, until your injury clears up!

However, if you are like the vast majority of us & like to live on the edge and just HAPPEN to get in the water despite having a known cut…we recommend applying a little betadine and bandage (found at local drug stores) to clean it up immediately after exiting the water. I also recommend showering after being in pools or the ocean, using soap to wash away unfamiliar bacteria. Dr. Barnett sees a lot of infections due to cuts and ocean exposure.

Spring Break 2024 Keep your feet happy

SUNBURNED FEET
After your swim in the sea, you may decide to take a nap on the beach. Most people remember to apply sunscreen to arms and legs, but more often than not, forget to apply sunscreen to their feet! Applying sunscreen to feet can keep a flip flop tan from turning into a bad sunburn! The sun in Florida is very strong & a sunburn is the sun’s UV rays actually burning your skin. Sunburns or long-term sun exposure can lead to cancerous melanomas. The immediate pain from a sunburn is bad, but finding out years later you have melanoma on your foot is not the way we want you to remember your spring break! Apply waterproof mineral sunscreen at 50SPF or higher. Apply as directed on the sunscreen bottle and don’t forget to reapply as recommended.

Lastly, don’t forget your scars in the sun! If you have a newer scar from surgery or a cut, apply SPF Silagen Cream (sold at Align Foot and Ankle, $45/bottle) to your scar to prevent hyperpigmentation. Without it your scar will darken and become more visible from sun exposure.

BEACH INJURIES
At Align Foot and Ankle, we see a wide variety of recreation-related injuries including fractures, sprains, burns, cuts, foreign objects like barbs and shells, infections, even things as simple as heel/foot pain from beach walkers/runners. If you find yourself with a foot injury, skip the urgent treatment center and come straight to us. UTC’s can be long waiting room times, yet so quick with the doctor you barely get to understand the diagnosis or treatment. Not to mention the hefty price you pay for the service. We offer same-day appointments, home concierge visits, and even after-hours appointments to keep you going all spring break at affordable prices (insurance or cash options)!

In summary, don’t neglect your feet. Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated, wear sunscreen & proper foot-ware to enjoy your vacation time to the fullest! We hope you enjoy all that Florida has to offer & wish you the very best Spring Break!

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Align Foot and Ankle

1615 Pasadena Ave S, Suite 280,
St. Petersburg, FL 33707

Ph: 727.954.8075
Fx: 877.834.0099
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