Wound Care Articles and Insights
June 10, 2024

Woundless Summer 2024

Kallie Christensen

Warm breezes, salty air, the smell of sunscreen, and sand between your toes can only mean one thing: summer has finally arrived! These long, hot days filled with sun, surf, and not enough water might seem harmless, but for the 10.5 million Americans dealing with non-healing wounds, it can feel like a major wipeout for their healing progress. In fact, there are more than twice as many people with hard-to-heal wounds than there are surfers. But don't worry, every little thing is going to be alright. Wound Care Advantage is here to welcome back Woundless Summer with all the tips and tricks you need to avoid being taken over the falls by your summer plans.

Before kicking off the shoes and hitting the beach, be aware of the undertow of complications that summer fun can bring for those with wounds. Sand, heat, and poor diet choices can wreak havoc on your body, especially for those with Diabetes or Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD). But this is Woundless Summer, and we're here to help you keep wound care and summer fun balanced like a surfboard riding the waves.

Follow these ten tips to stay Woundless All Summer Long:

  1. Don’t Walk Outside Barefoot some text
    1. Broken glass, rocks, trash or debris can perforate the skin and cause infection. Walking on hot sidewalks or sand can quickly cause blisters or burns on the feet
  2. Always Wear Properly-Fitted Shoes - walking shoessome text
    1. Improper fitting shoes can cause friction on the foot and ankles, causing blisters. If needed, ask your physician about special diabetic shoes, custom inserts and socks to keep your feet healthy while you remain active
  3. Check your Sandalssome text
    1. Rocks and sand can easily get stuck between your sandal and foot while wearing open toed shoes. Check them often or avoid wearing them when walking in sand or any dirt surface. Examine the top, bottom, and in between the toes after wearing any sandal. 
  4. Stay Hydratedsome text
    1. Staying properly hydrated will help with swelling from heat or exercise, and also improve circulation. Dehydration can lead to skin breakdown, as well as slow down the healing process for current wounds. 
  5. Monitor Blood Glucosesome text
    1. With the rising heat in summer, it is important to maintain proper levels of blood glucose, A1C labs, and a healthy diet rich in vitamins. Be sure to continue taking any prescribed medication as well and call your care team with any questions. 
  6. Dry Your Feetsome text
    1. Feet that have been submerged in water for too long become susceptible to skin-tears and blisters. Take “dry-out” breaks when spending time in the water this summer. 
  7. Use antibiotic creamsome text
    1. If you have a foot wound of any kind, clean it and apply a sterile bandage to cover it after any activity that could have gotten the original bandage wet or soiled. Call your physician’s office for guidance to practice safe dressing changes.
  8. Limit Heat Exposuresome text
    1. If you currently have an open wound, limit the time spent outside during the hottest parts of the day. Heat causes swelling to worsen, and can make a wound harder to heal. 
  9. Put Your Feet Upsome text
    1. When spending time in the summer heat make sure to kick-back in a cool place and put your feet up. In particular hot and busy summer days, try 3-4 times a day for at least 15 minutes each. Call your care team immediately if you develop a wound
  10. Compress the Heatsome text
    1. Even though wearing an extra layer like a compression sock or wrap in the summer does not sound appealing, socks and wraps keep the blood flowing, which will help reduce swelling. 

With these tips, Woundless Summer is your ultimate guide to enjoying the season while preventing wounds. Stay tuned for more advice, more fun, and a summer that never ends. So kick back, grab that bottle (of water, of course), and get ready for another unforgettable summer. Hang ten and stay wound-free!

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