The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports Medicine

Top 5 Spring Break Foot Dangers: Are You Protected?

Posted by on Friday, April 3rd, 2015


Whether you’re taking a peaceful hike with your dog through the wooded mountain peaks or hitting the sunniest stretch of sand you can find, taking a spring break offers a welcomed hiatus from grueling school and work demands. This year, top spring break destinations include Panama City and Miami, FL; Cancun and the Bahamas. Packing a few extra items into your suitcase can ensure that you return home all in one piece, on your own two feet. New York City podiatrists at The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports Medicine want to see you enjoy a safe, fun trip without encountering one of these top five spring break foot dangers.

spring break walking
Avoid coming home from Spring Break 2015 in a cast by taking a few precautions from NYC podiatrists to heart. | Image Source: Unsplash user Edan Cohen

1. Swollen Feet

Feet swell up due to extended periods of limited movement and blood circulation. Puffy feet are not only unattractive in sandals, but they can sometimes be an indication of a life-threatening condition. Long drives and flights to get to your spring break destination can lead to blood clots, particularly if you have diabetes or are overweight.

What To Do: Get up, stretch and walk around once an hour. If you’re driving, map out enjoyable stopping points to add to the adventure.

What To Pack: Compression stockings–but don’t worry, these are just to wear in transit–you can swap your socks for sandals as soon as you arrive at your destination.

How We Can Help When You Return: Feet still swollen? We’ll run a few tests to make sure it’s nothing serious.

2. Achy Feet

Few things can stymie a jam-packed, active vacation more than nagging foot pain along the arches or in the heel. The most common culprit is simply poor footwear. Flip-flops are great for a few hours at the beach, but they should not be worn walking around town.

What To Do: Plan your day out smart, allowing flexibility for a change in footwear as the occasion requires.

What To Pack: Walking Sandals, Walking Shoes

How We Can Help When You Return: Our 3-D printed custom orthotics work wonders in treating and avoiding everyday foot pain!

3. Sunburned Feet

Most people never miss their face or arms when applying sunscreen, but somehow the feet are easily overlooked. Severe blistering can make it difficult to wear the footwear needed to do all the activities you’d like for the rest of your trip.

What To Do: Slather up those feet with sunblock as often as every hour! Keep an eye out for any reddening of the skin.

What To Pack: Waterproof Sunblock, 90% Aloe After Burn Cream (in case of emergencies!)

How We Can Help When You Return: We have ointments and wraps to facilitate the healing of damaged foot tissue.

4. Waterborne Pathogens

Something as small as a blister, ingrown nail, damaged cuticle, callus, or small scrape on the foot can become a portal for infection to enter the body. Bacteria or fungus may cause diarrhea, skin infections, or life-threatening diseases. Be aware that you are at increased risk for infection if you have a compromised immune system due to a pre-existing disease like cancer, steroid use, liver disease, or chronic alcoholism.

What To Do: Avoid sea water if you have any kind of open wound. See a doctor immediately if you have fever, chills, redness, or swelling. Also, change out of wet footwear immediately and keep the feet covered with sandals in public shower areas to prevent foot fungus growth.

What To Pack: Antifungal/Antibacterial Soap, Moisture Barrier Antifungal Foot Cream

How We Can Help When You Return: We offer laser toenail fungus treatment, athlete’s foot treatments, and skin infection medicine.

5. Sprains & Broken Bones

Beach volleyball, rock climbing, and the multitude of other sports you may enjoy can put you at risk for serious mishaps. A tumble-and-fall accident happens quicker than you may think, with sprains and broken bones often feeling the same at first, with accompanying pain and swelling. While you can’t prevent every type of accident, wearing supportive footwear and slowing down to be more mindful is a good start.

What To Do: Take it slow! Pack supportive footwear. Look before you leap! Monitor alcohol consumption (it doesn’t exactly improve your coordination).

What To Pack: Foot & Ankle Brace, Athletic Tape, Ice Compress, Pain Relievers

How We Can Help When You Return: Whether you need an evaluation, a cast, a walking boot, surgery, or physical therapy, The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports Medicine can help! We also offer advanced therapies like platelet rich plasma injections, biopuncture, ultrasound, and electromagnetic shockwave therapy to expedite healing.

Contact The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports Medicine in NYC before or after your trip. We’re as passionate about the prevention of foot and ankle injuries as we are about treating them, so you will find a friend in us!


If you have any foot problems or pain, contact The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports MedicineDr. Josef J. GeldwertDr. Katherine Lai, Dr. Ryan Minara and Dr. Mariola Rivera have helped thousands of people get back on their feet. Unfortunately, we cannot give diagnoses or treatment advice online. Please make an appointment to see us if you live in the NY metropolitan area or seek out a podiatrist in your area.