Summer Safety Do’s and Don’ts for Patients with Diabetes

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At FL Foot Health, we believe in educating patients so that they can be proactive in taking care of their feet and ankles. Patients with diabetes have special concerns for their feet since two conditions frequently associated with the disease—decreased circulation and neuropathy—can cause small foot problems to quickly grow into major health threats. The summer season brings some special scenarios that can put diabetic feet at risk for problems. Below are some do’s and don’ts to help you protect your feet this summer.

Do: pack flip- flops in your beach/pool bag. Hot sand and asphalt can burn the bottoms of your feet. If neuropathy causes you to have decreased sensation in your feet, you may not accurately perceive just how hot the surface is and you could end up with serious burns on your feet. Keeping your feet covered in public places where there are water and lots of people walking barefoot will also help you avoid athlete’s foot and other fungal infections.

Don’t: forget to reapply sunscreen to the skin on your feet after swimming. It’s also important to put on sunscreen if you are wearing open sandals that expose your skin when you will be out for a day of sightseeing or shopping.

Don’t: let feet get damp. If you tend to sweat excessively, carry an extra pair of socks with you and change as soon as you notice that your feet feel moist. You may also want to dust your feet with an anti-fungal or talcum powder in the morning before putting on socks.

Do: drink lots of water. Swelling of the feet and ankles is more common in hot, humid weather. When feet get larger, shoes get tighter and friction can occur which will cause blisters and irritation to the skin. Drinking extra water will help flush the fluids from your body.

Do: wash your feet daily with soap and water and examine them thoroughly for any signs of abnormalities. If you notice anything suspicious, contact your podiatrist at once. If you need to find a podiatrist in your area, use our online directory. To find out more about how to protect the health of your feet and ankles, contact us.