When you think of summertime, going barefoot often comes to mind, but if you have diabetes, you better think twice about taking off those socks and shoes! Unfortunately, there are many dangers diabetic feet face, and protecting them is of the upmost importance to avoid serious complications.
You see, nerve damage and poor circulation are often associated with diabetes and these conditions deliver a dangerous one-two punch. An injury can occur without your knowledge if feet are numb to pain, and compromised blood flow means that injury will be waiting quite a while before it receives the healing nutrients it needs. The longer it goes unnoticed and the longer it takes to heal, the higher the chances are for infection, ulceration, and dangerous consequences. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to protect yourself from harm.
To protect diabetic feet, always wear shoes outside and hard-soled slippers indoors. Stepping on anything that can cause an injury—even if it’s just a scratch—can lead to possible amputation. Don’t take that risk! If you can’t imagine summer without swimming, not to worry. Just make sure you find some hard-soled surf shoes before you take the plunge!
It’s important to note that all your footwear should fit properly to avoid blisters or other skin abrasions. Check inside your shoes before putting them on to ensure there are no rough seams or obstructions inside. Make sure to wear socks that fit well, too.
Other steps you can take to protect diabetic feet include:
Making sure you trim nails even with tips of toes and straight across (we’ll be happy to help with this if you'd like)
Managing your blood sugar levels with diet, exercise, and good lifestyle choices
Keeping feet clean and dry
Moisturizing skin and protecting it with sunscreen
Testing the temperature of bath water with your elbow
Checking feet daily – essential to catch problems early before they snowball into serious situations.
If you do notice an injury or anything out of the ordinary, call us immediately so we can help nip problems in the bud before they get out of control. Contact our Bloomington, IL office at (309) 661-9975 and we will get you in for an appointment as soon as possible. You don’t have to let diabetes ruin your summer fun—you can protect diabetic feet to stay safe, healthy, and active!