Avoiding Podiatric Problems at the Beach

beach vacation

At Superior Foot & Ankle Care Center we know that our Los Angeles County patients are within driving distance of many beautiful California beaches. This favorite summertime excursion, however, can end in pain and discomfort for your feet or ankles if you fail to take the proper precautions. Below are some beach-day fun busters and how to prevent them.

Burns—while sunburn is an obvious concern that most people are aware of on a beach day, we find that many patients neglect to apply sunscreen diligently to their feet. It’s essential to use a water-resistant, broad-spectrum sunscreen that protects against both UVA and UVB rays with an SPF of at least 30. Be sure to apply the sunscreen to the tops and bottoms of your feet. Sitting in a sand chair the soles of your feet are exposed to direct sunlight and reflective rays off the sand. Reapply sunscreen to your feet after swimming or every two hours, whichever comes first.

Walking on hot sand or pavement can also cause the soles of your feet to burn. It may seem like a short trip to get to your beach blanket, but the temperatures of the sand can easily heat up enough to cause third-degree burns to the skin in a very short time. Always cover your feet before stepping out.

Jelly Fish Sting—Did you know that these creatures can still sting you even after they have washed up on the shore and died? Pack a small container of vinegar or baking soda in your beach bag and apply it to a jellyfish sting to relieve pain. Most stings will heal on their own within a few days. If yours appears to be getting worse instead of better, contact our Long Beach office at (562) 420-9800 office for an appointment so that our podiatrists, Dr. Victoria M. Foley and Dr. Constance Ornelas, can examine your wound and determine if it has become infected.

Ankle Sprain—some people enjoy adding a little sports activity to their beach day with a game of beach volleyball or frisbee. If you fall into this category, remember to bring sneakers to support your feet in sliding sands to avoid ankle sprains and other injuries.

Puncture Wound—sharp objects can easily be concealed in the sand. Wear shoes for beach walks to avoid cuts. If you do get a cut, clean it immediately and put antibacterial ointment and a bandage on the wound.

We hope you have lots of summer fun! If you have any foot or ankle issues, contact us for evaluation and treatment.