Summer Tips for Diabetic Patients
At Pasco-Hernando Foot & Ankle, we always stress to our patients with diabetes the need for extra attention when caring for the feet. Diabetes is associated with multiple conditions that can greatly affect the health of your feet. Neuropathy, or the loss of sensation, in the feet can make it difficult to accurately perceive pain and detect medical conditions in their early stages. Circulation problems can slow the healing process, and hence, what are typically small issues like blisters or athlete’s foot can become major medical threats.
Below are some tips that diabetic patients should observe during the summer season:
Keep feet covered—although it’s tempting in the summer months to go barefoot, this greatly increases your chances of stepping on a sharp object which could cut the bottom of your foot. Undetected, a cut in the skin can be an entry point for bacteria that could cause an infection. Wearing shower shoes or flip-flops at the pool or beach will also protect your feet from contracting a fungal infection.
Stay hydrated—while you might not make the immediate connection, drinking plenty of water is one way to avoid swelling of the feet and ankles. When your feet swell, it makes your shoes tighter and increases the risk for a blister to form.
Alternate sandals and shoes—in warmer months, sandals may be the preferred choice of footwear, but dry skin and heel cracks are more likely when you are wearing open styles of shoes. Wear regular socks and shoes at least some days each week.
Don’t forget to apply sunscreen—a burn on your feet can blister and leave skin exposed and another opportunity for infection.
Wash your feet daily and inspect them--if you notice any redness, cuts, swelling, bruising, rashes or excessively dry skin contact our Spring Hill (352 683-5799) or Hudson (727-868-2128) office immediately. It’s essential that our podiatrist, Dr. Lawrence J. Kales, examine your feet and head off any potential foot problem.