7 Summer Foot Care Tips for Patients with Diabetes
Many people look forward to wearing sandals or walking barefoot on the beach during the lazy months of summer. But for patients with diabetes, simple activities like these can be dangerous. Since diabetic people often have poor circulation and nerve damage in their feet, small cuts or burns can become a big problem.
Fortunately, this doesn’t have to mean a summer in sneakers. By taking the precautions below, you can still enjoy sandal weather, even with diabetes.
Maintain proper glucose levels
Patients with diabetes should try to maintain a blood sugar level of 70 to 130 mg/dL before meals, and less than 180 mg/dL two hours after starting a meal, with a hemoglobin A1C level less than seven percent. Regular exercise, a healthy diet, adequate blood sugar monitoring, and proper medication as prescribed by your doctor can help keep your blood sugar steady and your body, and feet, safe.
Avoid walking barefoot
It can be tempting to take a walk through the sand, but if seashells, broken glass, or ocean debris punctures the skin of your feet, it can easily cause infection for a diabetic persons. Hot sand or sidewalks can also cause burns on your feet, so if you suffer from diabetes, be sure to always wear shoes when you’re going outside.
Buy the right shoes and socks
If you are diabetic, it is important to ensure that your shoes fit perfectly, as footwear that is too small can cause blister and calluses. Adult feet usually change sizes four to five times throughout our lifetimes, and weight fluctuations, weather, and poor circulation can alter them, too. If it’s been a while since you’ve had a shoe fitting, ask for your feet to be professionally measured—not by a shoe sales associate, but by a licensed podiatrist who can lend much more expertise.
Use lotion on your feet
It’s easy for the skin on your feet to dry out, especially in the summer. To prevent drying (and subsequently, cracks which can become infected), regularly rub a thin coat of lotion on your feet. Avoid putting it in between your toes, as excess moisture can lead to a fungal infection.
Make an appointment with Ryan Foot & Ankle
For patients with diabetes, it’s important to schedule regular appointments with a podiatrist. This is especially true in the summer, since the high heat and excess moisture make your feet more prone to infection. Seeing your podiatrist at least once during the summer months can help ensure you’re keeping your feet happy and healthy as possible. If you live in the Charlotte area and would like to schedule a podiatrist appointment, call Ryan Foot & Ankle today.