Eeeek! Hot sand, tarry asphalt, pool slop crawling with microbes, teetery high-heeled sandals, 10-mile hikes -- feet sure take a beating in summer.
Nearly half of all Americans suffer from a foot problem at some point in their lives, says the American Podiatric Medical Association. And summer, when people are more apt to be active and away from home (and doctors), can be especially problematic.
Henoch-Schonlein purpura (HSP) is a disease involving inflammation of small blood vessels. It most commonly occurs in children. The inflammation causes blood vessels in the skin, intestines, kidneys, and joints to start leaking. The main symptom is a rash with numerous small bruises, which have a raised appearance, over the legs or buttocks.
Although HSP can affect people at any age, most cases occur in children between the ages of 2 and 11. It is more common in boys than girls. Adults with HSP...
"This is the best advice I have," says James W. Brodsky, MD, an orthopaedist in private practice, and clinical professor of orthopaedic surgery at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School at Dallas. "We see so many injuries from going barefoot. Even in that cool grass that feels so good can be a dangerous, cutting object."
A second reason not to bare those dogs is that you could have neuropathy from an unknown cause (even if you are not diabetic). You may not even know you have it. You could dash across the street barefoot, and even if it's hot enough to fry an egg out there, you wouldn't feel it. But you would get burned. "A lot of people don't know they have it (neuropathy) until they get an injury," Brodsky says.
Diabetics should never walk barefoot -- even indoors, says Brodsky, who is president of the American Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Society. Think of all the sharp toys and home improvement materials left on the floor, especially in summer.