Avoid Summer Dangers to Diabetic Feet

At Benenati Foot Care Specialists, we know that patients with diabetes have to take special care of their feet all year long. The summer season, however, brings some unique situations that you may not normally encounter and that require extra precautions. Below are some summer hazards to watch out for.

Burns—your feet are at risk for this type of injury in two ways. The first is sunburn. It’s essential that you apply sunscreen to the tops (and bottoms if you are lying out in the sun). Just like the rest of your body, you should reapply every two hours and after you swim. The other way that your feet can get a bad burn is if you walk barefoot on hot sand or in the parking lot at the shore or lake. Neuropathy can make it difficult to feel just how hot a surface is. Even a short walk to your beach blanket can be enough to cause serious damage.

Cuts and Puncture Wounds—walking on the beach or feeling the grass on your feet are all enjoying summer activities, but it is best to avoid going barefoot. Buried in the sand or in your yard can be sharp objects that will cause a wound that could easily become infected.

Blisters—sweat creates friction in your footwear and greatly increases your risk of blisters. Keep feet dry by applying talcum powder in the morning before putting on socks and shoes. Avoid edema (swelling) of the feet and ankles by drinking lots of water and putting your feet up periodically throughout the day. Swelling makes shoes tighter and can result in skin irritation.

Fungal Infections—a prime summer activity is swimming. Pools, lakes, the ocean—any place where there’s water and a tendency for people to walk barefoot means fungus and bacteria are likely to be lurking. Use shower shoes or flip-flops to protect feet from infections like athlete’s foot which are spread by direct contact.

If you sustain an injury to your feet or ankles or you notice any unusual redness, abrasions, blisters or rashes on your feet, contact our Macomb (586) 416-3668, St. Clair Shores (586) 779-6140 or Warren (586) 756-3338 office. One of our podiatrists, Dr. Anthony Benenati, Dr. Neil Shaw, and Dr. Adam Thompson, will examine your feet and head off any potential podiatric problems.

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