Beaches are a wonderful place to get away from our busy lives especially during the last bits of summer. You can imagine soft, warm sand between your toes and dipping your feet into the cool, refreshing ocean. There’s probably some beach volleyball going on around, some Frisbee tossing, and the smell of a distant BBQ or campfire somewhere. What you’re probably not imagining is what dangers there could be when you’re on the beach, especially when you’re not paying attention. Here is a short list of things to watch out for to help you have a better beach day.
- Sunburns and Burns – Sunscreen should be put on every part of your body from your face to your toes. You should actually apply sunblock to both the top and bottoms of your feet and apply frequently as you are most likely rubbing off most of the sunscreen any time you walk on the sand or go into the water. Skin cancer (although not the most common) can occur anywhere on your body, even on your feet.
- Cuts and Puncture Wounds – Not all beaches are sandy, and many beaches during the summer months can be overcrowded and not the tidiest. Be on the lookout for glass bottle shards, bottle caps, and any other sharp objects that might have been discarded by the previous people who were sitting in that area. Some beaches might also be rocky and have sharp, protruding rocks that can cut your feet or cause you to twist your ankle. If you’re uncomfortable walking, wear proper footwear instead of going barefoot.
- Ankle and Arch Issues – Beach sports are always fun and a great workout that is especially challenging due to the uneven surface you are playing on. But always be mindful that the uneven surface can contribute to ankle sprains, heel pain (from putting pressure on the wrong part of your foot), or arch pain. If running or jogging, wear proper footwear, and if you’re barefoot, always be mindful of where you are stepping.
Dr. Kenneth R. Wilhelm of Clifton Foot & Ankle Center has been treating patients in the Centreville, VA area for over seventeen years. If you have any questions call us at 703-996-3000 or make an appointment here.