Summer Health Hazards - and How to Prevent Them

With summer fun often comes summer fouls. Here's how to sidestep some top seasonal ailments so you can savor your summer days.

Appeared in: Redbook Magazine

By: Janis Graham & Lauren Le Vine

Published on: 08/18/12

Athlete's Foot

Why now? According to Dr. Johanna Youner, an APMA podiatrist and spokesperson practicing in New York City, athlete's foot is a fungal infection of the skin on your foot that thrives in warm, moist areas. Your risk for getting athlete's foot increases if you wear closed shoes - especially if they are plastic lined, keep your feet wet for long periods of time, and have increased sweating. Athlete's foot is also contagious and can be passed via surfaces like pool decks and showers.

What to do: "To avoid this common summer condition, dry your feet thoroughly, especially between the toes, before putting on your shoes and socks," Dr. Youner recommends. "Change your socks during the day if they become saturated with sweat, and add a powder like cornstarch into your daily routine after showering to keep your feet dry and prevent infection."

Flip Flops

Why? Flip flops have become a summer staple, but they're actually horrible for you. "Because of the way flip flops are shaped, one needs to grasp the shoes onto your feet, which forces us to walk differently and could cause other problems with legs, knees, hips and backs. This can cause tendinitis, plantar fasciitis, heel pain, and other musculo-skeleton problems," Dr. Youner says. Not to mention the opportunities for toe-stubbing that come with having exposed tootsies.

What to do: If you must wear flip flops, Youner suggests brands like FitFlop, which are designed to offer more support, shock absorption, and skin coverage (even feet need protection from the summer sun). To find out which other brands carry the APMA’s Seal of Acceptance for proper foot health, visit their website.

Johanna Youner, DPM graduated from the California School of Podiatric Medicine (CSPM) formerly known as California College of Podiatric Medicine (CCPM), in 1990.


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