If you’re a patient with diabetes, you are probably already taking extra precautions with your feet. At Texas Foot Specialists, we are your partner in care and in managing your disease. The summer can bring particular challenges that we want to alert our patients to. Below are 5 tips for keeping your feet safe during the summer season.
1. Stick with your food plan. The best way to manage your diabetes is by controlling your blood sugar and following your doctor’s instructions for maintaining a healthy diet. Barbecues and summer parties may offer temptations to stray from your plan. Pre-plan what you will have and throw your plate away once you’ve eaten what you should.
2. Keep feet covered. If you’re spending time at a local pool or vacationing at a seaside destination, it’s important to wear flip-flops or shower shoes. Warm, moist settings where lots of people walk barefoot are the perfect spots for fungal infections like athlete’s foot to breed. These are spread by direct contact, so wearing shoes will prevent you from getting them. Not going barefoot will also help you avoid cuts and puncture wounds.
3. Use sunscreen on your feet. Even if you are not planning to lie out in the sun, if you will be outside and are wearing open-style shoes, your feet are exposed to the sun’s harmful rays.
4. Stay hydrated. Edema or swelling of the feet and ankles is more likely in hot weather. When feet and ankles swell, socks and shoes get tight and blisters are more likely to form. Although it sounds counterintuitive, drinking lots of water will actually help flush the excess fluid from your body.
5. Moisturize your heels. If you wear sandals in the summer, the exposed heel skin may get dried and cracked. This can allow bacteria to enter and cause an infection. Use extra moisturizer on your feet and heels, and also try to wear regular socks and shoes on some days.
Be sure to inspect your feet daily for any signs of possible problems including cuts, blisters, bruises, swelling or rashes. If you see anything concerning, promptly contact our Sugar Land (281-242-4448), Pasadena (281-991-0600) or Houston (713-664-6677) office so that our podiatrists, Dr. Bruce Miller and Dr. Gregory Mangum, can examine your feet and head off any potential problems.