There are few experiences that are more liberating or relaxing than walking barefoot on a sandy beach with the warm sand between your toes and the sounds of the waves lapping at the shoreline. But this almost perfect scene can quickly turn hazardous for millions of diabetics. In today’s post, Dr. Eric Ricefield, Dr. Mark Yagodich, and Dr. Aliza V. Eisen of greater Philadelphia’s Your Next Step Foot and Ankle Care Center explain why.
Proper foot care is a crucial part of daily care when you live with diabetes; unfortunately, this condition never takes a day off. But that doesn’t mean you can’t have fun in the sun. Keeping some key health precautions in mind will keep your feet in tip-top shape so you can enjoy your summer.
- Be smart when selecting your footwear. The most important consideration when choosing footwear is proper fit and protection. Wear the correct size – if you haven’t had your foot measured recently, do it now. Make sure the shoe fits properly to prevent excessive rubbing or blisters. Closed-toed shoes made of breathable material, fit comfortably, and protect the soles of your feet.
- Check your feet every day. If you have diabetes, this one should already be part of your daily routine. Examine your feet looking for cuts, blisters, cracks, or any type of broken skin that could become infected. Don’t forget to check the bottoms of your feet and your ankles.
- Don’t go barefoot. Try to avoid walking barefoot altogether. Because with diabetes, your circulation and sense of feeling is compromised, even a few minutes of walking barefoot could put you at an elevated risk of a cut or puncture. Even a quick trip to the mailbox on the hot driveway can cause blisters on the bottoms of your feet, so keep your feet protected and covered.
- Wear compression socks to eliminate odor. This can be a challenging one, especially because of the heat. But if you are disposed to swollen feet, prop up your feet and wear compression socks as often as possible. Keep in mind that you want to prevent more circulation issues, and compression socks help diminish swelling by encouraging an upward flow of blood.
- Remain watchful with your blood sugar levels. Monitoring your blood sugar levels is the best way to remain healthy year-round. Monitor your blood sugar, take your medication, eat a healthy diet, and exercise.
- Keep your feet moisturized. Applying moisturizer to your feet daily will help prevent cracked, dry skin, which can turn into infections or sores. Remain mindful of anything that could eventually make you more susceptible to developing a sore or infection.
During the summer months, you may be enticed to splurge, but adhering to these tips will help you maintain a healthy blood sugar level. And that will let you enjoy much more summer fun in the future.
To learn more about managing your diabetes, or summer diabetic foot care, contact the offices of greater Philadelphia’s Your Next Step Foot and Ankle Care Center for diagnosis and treatment. Click here to locate the office nearest you and schedule an appointment today.