News Release

June 16, 2005

Contact: Jane Shaskan, 860-679-4777

Foot Loose and Fungus Free

Tips for Summer Foot Care

FARMINGTON, CONN. – The boots are off and the sandals are on. Your feet need some extra TLC to stay healthy and look their best this summer.

Athlete’s foot, the most common fungal condition, is especially worrisome during the summer months, says UConn Health Center podiatrist Douglas Albreski, D.P.M., director of Podiatric Dermatology. “Fungi love warm, moist, dark places – like in between your toes,” he said. “Athlete’s foot is easily contracted and warm-weather activities expose feet to possible infection.” Dr. Albreski offers these hints to avoid an outbreak.

  • Wash and dry feet completely – especially in between the toes – and apply anti-fungal medication on any cracked or itchy skin.
  • Take care of toenails. Injury to the nail bed makes it more susceptible to infection.
  • Wear flip-flops or water shoes in locker rooms, poolside, and on the beach.
  • Don’t share bath towels.

Sweaty feet are more prone to blisters.

  • To absorb sweat, powder your feet with an anti-fungal product, and wear socks, stockings or other foot coverings especially made to be worn with many of today’s shoe styles.

Salon pedicures are popular in the summer months. They can make your feet look and feel better. Following a couple of simple precautions can keep your toe nails healthy and safe from infection.

  • Keep cuticles intact – when cut or separated from the nail bed, cuticles are vulnerable to infections.
  • Check to see if the salon and its technicians are licensed and that nail implements and foot spas are properly sanitized either by heat or chemical/germicidal sterilization methods.
  • Be sure the technician washes her hands and your feet before beginning treatment.

Another problem for feet during the summer is sunburn. “People often forget about using sunscreen on their feet and ankles. They tend not think of it as an area at risk for sunburn, but it is,” said Dr. Albreski.

  • Apply sunscreen to your feet and ankles, just as you would to any part of your body that’s exposed to the sun.
  • Reapply regularly, especially after coming out of the water.

Wearing the right shoes for the right activity is also important. “You don’t want to wear flip-flops playing volleyball, but they’re a good idea when walking along the beach,” said Dr. Albreski. “Some type of foot covering is a smart idea,” he said.

  • Flip-flops, sandals, water shoes or old sneakers can protect your feet from stinging, or sharp, ocean creatures, such as jellyfish and sea urchins, as well as stones, coral, and other sharp objects.

“Walking is the best exercise for your feet,” said Dr. Albreski. “With just a few common sense precautions, your feet will take you through the summer months in good health and appearance.”

UConn Health includes the schools of medicine and dental medicine, the UConn Medical Group, University Dentists, and John Dempsey Hospital. Home to Bioscience Connecticut, UConn Health pursues a mission of providing outstanding health care education in an environment of exemplary patient care, research and public service. More information about UConn Health is available at

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