It’s summertime, which means it’s prime season for bare foot strolls; whether it be around your backyard or down a sandy beach. Although there certainly is a liberating and nostalgic feeling about going au natural below the ankles, you might be exposing your feet to hidden dangers. Grass, sand, and other surfaces can camouflage sharp objects such as broken glass, nails, or jagged seashells causing painful cuts or puncture wounds.
Obviously, the best way to prevent these barefoot blunders is to always wear shoes! Shoes with a thick sole can help eliminate the risk of any foreign object puncturing your foot. However, summer just wouldn’t be the same without kicking off your sandals and liberating your feet, so keep in these tips in mind to help prevent any of the serious risks that those “barefoot blue jean nights” (or days) may cause:
- Booster up! If you’re prone to walking around barefoot, its important to make sure you’re up-to-date on your tetanus shot. Experts recommend teens and adults get a booster shot every 10 years to prevent infections from tetanus caused by cuts or puncture wounds.
- Keep it clean! When a sharp object punctures your foot, it creates an opening into your foot that can act as an autobahn-like freeway for bacteria (yikes!). Therefore, in order to prevent infection, its important to wash the area with a mild soap and rinse with clean water. Also, use a sterile bandage to protect the wound from dirt or further injury.
- Hands off! Although many times the object that punctured your foot is close to the surface and can be easily removed, other times it may penetrate deep enough into your foot that you can’t see it. If this is the case, leave your foot alone and see your foot and ankle doctor immediately! Digging and prodding around can actually push the foreign body deeper and cause significant nerve and blood vessel damage. In addition, even if you think you’ve removed the entire object from your foot, dirt and bacteria that were pushed into the wound remain and can cause some serious issues. Without proper treatment after a puncture wound, you are leaving your foot susceptible to tissue and bone infections, cyst development, or damage to the tendons and muscles of your feet.
In the end, it’s important to use common sense and minimize the risk to your feet. However, if you’ve suffered a any kind of wound from your barefoot summer escapades, don’t delay to make an appointment at the Advanced Foot and Ankle Care Center location nearest you. It’s important to have one of our highly trained doctors tend to your wound to help your feet avoid an un-“bare”-able fate!