Our beautiful Jersey Shore beaches are beckoning, and at Podiatry Center of New Jersey, we know many of our patients are taking advantage of these ocean respites to beat the heat and relax. A seemingly idyllic day at the beach, however, does come with some potential risks to the health of your feet.

Here are five hazards to watch out for and tips on preventing your beach day from going bust:

  1. Too Hot to Handle

    Halfway across the parking lot or a hot sandy beach is too late to realize that these surfaces, which are superheated from the sun, are burning the skin on the bottom of your feet. As the day goes on, sand retains heat and can reach temperatures as high as 130-140 degrees F! That’s hot enough to cause a second-degree burn to your skin. The takeaway: Don’t go barefoot, even for what you think will be only a few minutes.

  2. Playing it Safe

    Although flip-flops are the shoe du jour for beach days, many people like to engage in more active play. Long walks on the beach, impromptu volleyball games, and frisbee tossing can all lead to ankle sprains and arch pain due to the unstable nature of sand. If being physically active at the shore is a potential for you, throw a sturdy pair of sneakers in your beach bag.

  3. Don’t Burn Your Feet

    A sunburn on your feet, particularly on the soles of your feet, can sideline you from summer fun for several days. Apply a liberal amount of a broad-spectrum, water-resistant (note: it’s not waterproof) sunscreen with a minimum SPF of 15 to your feet and the rest of your body. Reapply every two hours or after swimming.

  4. Beware of Bathrooms and Changing Areas

    Keep your feet covered in public areas where others walk. Wet, humid settings are a fungal infection’s breeding area of choice.

  5. Cuts, Punctures, and Jellyfish Stings—Oh My!

    It’s impossible to see what’s buried in the sand, which is another good reason to keep your shoes on at the beach. It’s also a good idea to carry a small first aid kit in case of a minor cut or wound. Baking soda or vinegar will ease the pain of a jellyfish sting. If a wound seems deep or is not healing properly, contact us for an appointment to get it evaluated.

At Podiatry Center of New Jersey, our team of doctors treats various conditions such as sports injuries, diabetic foot problems, pediatric foot conditions, toe deformities, arthritis, nail fungus, arch problems, and heel pain. Equipped with advanced technologies and dedicated staff, our 16 conveniently located offices provide individualized high-quality care for patients across Essex, Hudson, Middlesex, Ocean, Passaic, and Union Counties. For all your foot and ankle problems, contact our Wayne, NJ office at (973) 925-4111 for an appointment.