For many people, summer is the time to walk barefoot in a grassy park or the beach. But if you’re one of the millions of Americans who live with diabetes, walking barefoot is one of the worst things you can do for your foot health. Exposure to rocks, trash and debris, and hot pavement can cause trauma that leads to wounds that won’t heal and put you at risk of sepsis, infection, or even amputation. Today, Dr. Hubert Lee at CarePlus Foot & Ankle Specialists in Bellevue, WA, is sharing seven tips for protecting diabetic feet from the summer heat.
Many serious wounds start as a small scratch or scrape. Some diabetics may experience peripheral neuropathy, which is a loss of sensation in the lower extremities caused by nerve damage. Because there is a loss of feeling, a small wound can remain undetected for quite some time, and eventually, become infected. Diabetics are at a higher risk of infection of a wound, delayed healing, and even sepsis.
If you have diabetes you need to be attentive to your foot care all year, but summer can be particularly important. If you find any type of a wound on your foot, even if it seems minor, it should be assessed early to avoid life-threatening problems.
Here are 7 summer foot care tips for diabetics:
1. Always wear shoes that fit correctly. If needed, ask your podiatrist about diabetic shoes and custom inserts to keep your feet healthy while you are active.
2. Cleanse your feet daily. Inspect the bottoms and tops of your feet daily and keep your toenails clipped straight across.
3. Don’t walk barefoot while outdoors. Rocks, trash, debris, and broken glass can puncture the skin and lead to infection. Walking on sand or hot sidewalks can quickly cause burns or blisters on your feet.
4. Maintain proper levels of blood glucose. In addition to monitoring your blood glucose levels, be sure to stick to a healthy diet, and use medication as prescribed by your doctor.
5. Attend to any wounds. If you notice any foot wound, clean it, apply antibiotic cream and place a sterile bandage over it, finally, call your podiatrist for advice.
6. Moisturize daily. Apply a soothing cream for dry skin on the tops and bottoms of your feet every day.
7. Stay hydrated. Drinking plenty of fluids can alleviate foot swelling from heat and improve circulation.
Dr. Hubert Lee at CarePlus Foot & Ankle Specialists in Bellevue, WA, specializes in the healing of foot wounds. Our team is specifically trained in treating wounds that won’t heal after weeks or months of traditional treatment methods. If you have diabetes and notice a foot wound, schedule an appointment online, or by calling us at 425-455-0936 today!