If you're living with diabetes, you need to take special care of your feet all year long. But the summer time comes with special challenges. The combination of high temperatures and summer activities can present dangers for diabetics, and taking some extra precautions can help you to protect your feet and keep them as healthy as possible. Take a look at some summer foot care tips that will help you maintain the health of your feet.
Use Lotion Daily
The summer heat makes it especially easy for the skin on your feet to dry out. Dry skin can begin to crack, and cracks in your skin open the door for infections. Using skin lotion on the tops and bottoms of your feet (but not between your toes) every day can keep the skin from drying and cracking. The time that you spend applying lotion on your feet is also a good time to check for wounds or injuries that you may not have noticed.
If you're going to be spending time outdoors, use a sunscreen with a moisturizer. Burnt feet are even worse than dry feet, and a sunburn on your feet will take longer to heal than it would for someone without diabetes.
Don't Go Barefoot
It can be hard to resist taking your shoes off at the beach or the park, but it's much healthier for you to leave them on. Stepping on shells or rocks or walking on hot pavement or sand can lead to wounds or burn that can be difficult to heal. It's not worth the risk.
It's not enough to slip on a flimsy pair of flip-flops, either. Not only will they not protect your feet, they may actually cause injuries themselves. The straps can dig into your skin, and if they're uncomfortable, they may raise blisters. Treat yourself to a comfortable pair of summer shoes that you love, and use them for all of your outdoor excursions.
Watch For Swelling
The heat can play havoc with your blood sugar, and it can also cause your feet to swell faster than they would in cooler temperatures. Dehydration can also make the problem worse.
Drink plenty of water, and keep an eye out for signs that your feet are swelling. If your shoes feel tight, it's time to get off your feet and elevate them. Taking ibuprofen can also help reduce swelling.
One more thing that you should do is make an appointment with your podiatrist at least once during the summer. Your podiatrist can confirm that your feet are as healthy as possible, and can help you come up with strategies for coping with any foot-related summertime challenges that you're facing.
For more information, contact a local podiatrist like Aiken Maurice W, DPM PA.