If you have diabetes, you likely know how important it is to care for your feet. People with diabetes can experience nerve damage and poor blood flow in the feet, which makes foot care crucial. When there is nerve damage, people cannot feel painful injuries to their feet, worsening their injuries and conditions. With limited blood flow, people experience pain and weakness that can even prevent them from walking.
Fortunately, there are many simple steps to protect your feet and keep them healthy. People with diabetes know to manage their blood sugar levels, eat a healthy diet and stay active to keep their feet healthy. But in the summer months, new challenges can arise that put your feet at risk. For example, many people are more active outside during the summer, exposing their feet to more potential injuries and funguses. Below, the friendly professionals from Dr. Fedorchak’s office explore five critical ways to protect your feet during the hot summer months.
Taking Care of Your Feet During the Summer: 5 Important Steps
Wear comfortable and supportive shoes.
Choose shoes that fit well and provide enough support for your feet. Opt for shoes that offer fuller coverage and protect the toes and skin. Although they’re popular during summer weather, avoid wearing sandals or flip-flops. Sandals, flip flops and open shoes may not offer enough support and can increase the risk of injury.
Keep your feet dry.
Sweating can increase the risk of fungal infections, which can be particularly dangerous for people with diabetes. Keep your feet dry by wearing moisture-wicking socks and changing them regularly. Avoid walking barefoot or wearing damp shoes. If you plan on swimming, thoroughly dry your feet before putting on socks and shoes.
Check your feet daily.
Check your feet daily for cuts, blisters, sores or signs of redness or inflammation. Even minor cuts and sores can quickly become infected, especially if your feet are exposed to more outdoor elements and sweat during summer. If you notice these signs, consult your healthcare provider immediately.
Protect your feet from the sun.
Most people know to put sunscreen on their faces, arms and legs. But don’t forget about your feet! Protect your feet with sunscreen if you plan to spend time in the sun, especially on the beach or in an area where you’re shoeless. Sunburn can increase the risk of injury and infection, so take precautions to keep your feet sunburn-free.
Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water! Because of summer heat and increased activity levels, you’re more likely to become dehydrated in the summer months. Unfortunately, dehydration increases the risk of foot ulcers and infections. On the other hand, drinking water and staying hydrated can help prevent dry skin and cracking on your feet. Preventing these also helps prevent infections and painful sores.
Your Local Foot Care Experts
In addition to these steps, you should continue following the best foot care recommendations. For example, experts recommend that people with diabetes exercise for at least 20 minutes daily, monitor and manage their blood sugar and eat plenty of fruits, veggies and quality grains. You should also continue seeing your diabetes care provider every three to six months.
And if you’re experiencing problems with your feet, make an appointment today with Dr. Fedorchak. At Dr. Fedorchak’s office, we treat our patients like family and prioritize their well-being. We look forward to providing exceptional care for your needs!