Protect Your Feet During Summer Travel

If you are planning a summer vacation trip outside the Chicago metropolitan area, you are not alone. Last Memorial Day weekend saw 37 million Americans hit the road or the runways, the highest level in 10 years (AAA). And the rest of the summer promises to equal those levels.

You will probably remember to pack tickets, bathing suits, sunscreen and dozens of other necessities. But don’t neglect what you’ll need both on your way to and at your destination – preparing your feet for summer travel is as important as renewing your passport.

If your feet hurt or if you sustain an injury like a sprained ankle, your vacation memories will turn painful. But Stavros O. Alexopoulos, DPM, board-certified podiatrist assures you that with a little preparation you can ensure that your feet will be in tiptop condition to carry you over the miles.

Pack Well-Fitting Shoes Appropriate to Each Activity

  • If you’re traveling by air, wear shoes that are easy to slip off at security and always wear socks.
  • Remember your custom-fitted orthotics for continued foot and arch support.
  • Bring flip flops along but limit them to pools and beaches. Flip flops provide no heel cushioning, arch support or shock absorption, and extensive walking in them can lead to foot and heel pain, tendonitis and sprained ankles.
  • Tuck an extra pair of light sneakers in your bag in case your shoes get wet – wearing wet shoes encourages bacterial and fungal growth.
  • For more active adventures, choose well-fitting hiking shoes that don’t slip at the heel and wear moisture-wicking acrylic socks.
  • Don’t forget to apply sunscreen regularly to the tops of feet as they can easily be sunburned.

Tend to Foot Problems Quickly Even on the Road

Create a small first-aid kit of foot necessaries to bring along, including:

  • Sterile bandages
  • Emollient-rich moisturizer
  • Antibiotic cream
  • Moleskins or blister pads to prevent blisters and protect feet if blisters form
  • Nail clippers and emery board
  • Sunscreen

Simple blisters are fairly easy to treat. If unbroken, cover with moleskin or a blister pad to ease pressure on the site, and change your footwear to prevent rubbing.

If the blister has torn open, wash carefully with soap and water. Try not to remove the flap of skin unless it looks infected. Apply antibiotic ointment and a clean bandage. Change the bandage daily and leave it off at night.

Always see a doctor if the area becomes warm or looks swollen or red as it may be infected.

If you or a family member suffers a foot or ankle injury, or if you have any foot pain, please contact us through our website or by calling 773-561-8100 for an appointment at our Chicago office. Foot pain is not normal and Dr. Alexopouloswill take the time to know you, your health history and your feet to relieve your pain.