Google+ Badge

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

I Am a Hippocrit!

Podiatrist Demands you Wear Flip Flops?

We are nearing the time of the year that families, couples, and friends pack up their bathing suits and head south for a much needed vacation. You may be anxiously awaiting the sand, sun, and cocktails. Burring your feet in the sand beats the day to day routine of boots, snow, and cold toes. With the growing check lists for your upcoming departure, foot health may not be on your list of thing to prepare for, but maybe it should! The number most vital thing to pack to save your feet are sandals or Flip Flops!

It is not often that you hear a podiatric physician promoting flip-flops, but they can be very important in protecting you on your vacation. We often forget that viruses, bacteria, and fungus enjoy the warm weather as much as we do. Though walking around barefoot can be relaxing, it is dangerous. You can pick up warts, athletes foot, and bacterial infection just about anywhere. Always wear sandals by the pool and even in your hotel room on the carpet. Do you know who stayed in your room last and how well did they clean the carpet?

Walking barefoot in the sand is very relaxing until you step on a piece of glass, a sharp twig, a shell or whatever the last metal detector-vacationer dropped from his pocket. Flip flops do not offer you any support, but they do provide a barrier between you and something harmful. Wearing flip flops can prevent you from getting an open wound. You may be thinking so what; a little cut on my foot won’t ruin my vacation. Not only are you at risk of getting an infection, but you will also be in a lot of pain. Even a small cut is easily aggravated by the salt water in the ocean or the chlorine in the pool. Planning on going golfing? How will your cut feel after a full day of walking on the greens?

On a nice tropical evening, it is so enjoyable to take a walk on the boardwalk or watch the sunset off the deck. Where there is wood, there are splinters! I see a number of patients every year with splinters in their foot. Sometimes, they remember the exact moment the stubborn piece of wood found a home in their foot, other times they had no idea their pain was being caused by a splinter. Two things can happen with a splinter in your foot. First, the wood harvests bacteria and can cause a local infection. The area will be red, hot, swollen, and some drainage from the wound site may be noted. If possible, your body will identify the splinter and immediately wall it off to prevent an infection. This walling off mechanism may cause a painful cyst that would need to be surgically excised.

It is very rare for a podiatric physician to tell you to wear your flip-flops. Vacationing is a great time to pull out the flip flops and use them for your safety. It should be noted that flip flops only provide protection and do not provide any support. Thus, if you are doing a lot of walking or standing, you should be wearing a more supportive shoe gear.