7 Summer Foot Care Tips for Patients with Diabetes
Most people look forward with anticipation to walking barefoot on the beach or wearing summer sandals. But for patients who have diabetes, these simple activities can be unsafe. Today Dr. Brandon Holloway and Dr. Travis Holloway of Amarillo Foot Specialists are sharing their tips to help diabetics maintain their feet throughout the summer months.
With a few precautions, diabetics can still enjoy summer sandal weather. Follow our suggestions so you can enjoy summer while still protecting your feet.
Maintain proper glucose levels. Diabetic patients should maintain a blood sugar level of 70 to 130 mg before meals and less than 180 mg two hours after beginning a meal. Routine exercise, proper medication, a healthy diet, and monitoring your blood sugar can help maintain these levels.
Don’t walk barefoot. While it can be tempting to walk through the sand, broken glass, seashells, and other ocean debris can pierce the skin of your feet and cause infection. Hot sidewalks or sand can also burn your feet, so always wear shoes when outdoors.
Wear the right socks and shoes. Your shoes should fit properly – if they are too small, they can cause calluses and blisters. Adult feet typically change size four to five times. If some time has passed since you’ve had a fitting, ask your podiatrist to measure your feet. When choosing socks, look for ones that are thick and soft with no seams, as they can cause blisters.
Inspect your feet on a daily basis. For diabetics, it’s important to inspect your feet when putting on and taking off your shoes. Inspect the area on your heel, between your toes, and in your shoes for any debris.
Use lotion for smoother skin. During the summer months, it’s easy for the skin on your feet to dry out. To treat this, rub a thin coat of lotion on the top and bottom of them, but not between your toes, as excess moisture can lead to a fungal infection.
Trim your toenails properly. Cut your toenails straight across – not too short - and then file the edges.
For patients who suffer from diabetes, regular appointments with your podiatrist are crucial. In the summer months, your feet face a higher probability for fungal infections due to excess moisture and heat. Visiting your podiatrist at least one time during the summer can help keep your feet as healthy as possible.