As summer comes and the weather gets warmer, you may find yourself being more active. You might spend more time hiking or running, or you may get involved in a team sport like soccer. In any case, foot problems often become more common or noticeable in the summer due to this increased activity. Some foot problems, like the average blister, clear up on their own. But if you develop any of the following foot problems this summer, you'll want to see a podiatrist.
Lingering Arch Pain
If the arch of your foot becomes really stiff and painful, you probably have a condition called plantar fasciitis. It's an inflammation of the plantar fascia, which is a band of connective tissue that connects your heel to your forefoot. Plantar fasciitis is common in people who rapidly increase their activity levels. If you run and just amped up your mileage for the summer, that could do it. If you just joined a soccer team and have had some grueling practices, that could do it, too.
Plantar fascia often clears up with the right stretches, arch supports, and rest. See a podiatrist, as they can recommend a good splint or orthotic insert. They can also guide you in terms of taking time off and moderating your exercise.
Itchy, Peeling Toes
If your toes or the skin between your toes becomes really itchy and starts peeling, you likely have athlete's foot. This is a highly contagious fungal infection, and it likes warm, moist areas — which is why people often get it in the summer. You may have picked it up walking around a public pool or showering in a public shower.
Athlete's foot can be really stubborn, so it's a good idea to see the podiatrist for care. They can prescribe either a topical or oral antifungal medication that will kill the organisms causing the symptoms. They may also give you an antibiotic if they think you have a secondary bacterial infection, which is not uncommon with athlete's foot. Make sure you also sanitize your shoes and socks, spend more time barefoot so your feet can breathe, and wear shoes when you encounter other surfaces that could be contaminated.
Summer is a great time to be active and get outside, but make sure you keep an eye on your foot health in the process. If you develop signs of either of these summer foot problems, contact a podiatrist.