Summer is here and so are sunshiny days spent frolicking in pools and relaxing on the beach. And as many people know, summer can create some extra wear and tear on the body. People in the know typically protect themselves by buying lip protectants, sunglasses, and sunscreen. But many neglect two of the most important parts of the body — the feet.

Today, Dr. Timothy Barry of Family Foot & Ankle Care of Jasper in Dubois County is sharing his tips for keeping your feet healthy this season:

1. Sunscreen: Be sure to put sunscreen on your feet, especially the fronts of ankles and the tops of the feet. And don’t forget to reapply when you come out of the water!

2. Cleansing: When exiting the water, wash and dry feet completely, paying particular attention to the area between the toes, and put an anti-fungal topical medication on areas of itchy or cracked skin. Clean, dry feet fight off disease.

3. Don’t share: Don’t ever share towels with others to prevent developing athlete’s foot and other diseases that are quickly spread.

4. Toenail care: Toenails are especially at risk around damp areas. And damage to the nail bed can put you more at risk for infection, so visit your podiatrist at the first sign of infection or discoloration.

5. Injury: To avoid ankle and toe injuries, always wear shoes designed for the sport or activity you’re joining in. For instance, be sure to wear boots when mowing the lawn, and don’t ever play Frisbee in sandals.

6. New shoes: When you buy new footwear, give yourself plenty of time to break them in before going on trips where you’ll be doing a lot of walking. And when trying on new shoes, make sure you’re wearing the same socks you plan on wearing with them.

7. Water safety: When you’re in the ocean, be on the lookout for jellyfish that can bite at the ankles and feet and sharp coral that can cut the bottom of your feet. Keeping water shoes or sandals on at all times to prevent cuts, stings, and other injuries are highly recommended.

8. Strolling the beach: Be on the lookout for spikey sea urchin spines when walking on the beach. Don’t walk barefoot; instead, wear flip-flops or an old pair of running shoes to protect your feet.

9. Enjoy: Most importantly, walk, swim, and enjoy the summer!! Walking is one of the best exercises for your feet. Swimming is an excellent option for those suffering from plantar fasciitis and tendinitis, making other forms of exercise painful.

If you experience any problems with your feet and ankles this summer, contact the office of Dr. Timothy Barry of Family Foot & Ankle Care of Jasper in Dubois County at (812) 481-7200 immediately to schedule a consultation.