Summertime Sadness with Diabetic Feet

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Most people tend to think of the end of August and the start of school as the end of the summer season—but technically, the season lasts into mid-September. Long vacations may be at their ends, but you still have a little summer (and Labor Day weekend) left to enjoy. When you have diabetes, summer can be a little challenging for your feet. Many people want to go barefoot or wear sandals, which isn’t safe. If you know how to manage your diabetic foot care, though, you can continue to enjoy the last few weeks of the season and a holiday weekend with healthy lower limbs.

Diabetic feet are prone to serious problems like ulcers. This is because diabetes damages both circulation and nerves in the extremities. As a result, you’re feet aren’t sensitive to injuries, struggle more to heal themselves, and may be more susceptible to infections. Some classic parts of summer and holiday weekends—like heat and sandals—can unfortunately increase your risk for problems.

Warm weather increases foot sweat, which can have a variety of effects. Sweat trapped in shoes boosts odds of infection and may contribute to calluses as well as dry skin. Sandals almost never have the protection that diabetic feet need, allowing pebbles under your feet or failing to stop sharp objects. Practicing good daily foot care and wearing better shoes is the only real way to combat these issues.

This includes washing your feet and moisturizing them regularly. This keeps your skin clean, clear of old sweat and grime, healthy, and soft. Wearing breathable shoes helps with this as well—but sandals aren’t necessarily the answer, unfortunately. Although most people with diabetes know not to go barefoot, they forget that sandals are not much better. Most styles have no support at all, flimsy soles, and little protection for the feet. It’s better to wear shoes made from breathable materials that have full coverage, arch support, and cushioned soles than to risk injuries.

Diabetic foot care in every season takes time and requires being extra careful with your lower limbs, but it is worth it. If you need any help with managing your foot health at all at any time of year, let us know at Podiatry Associates, P.C. in Castle Pines, Parker, and Cherry Creek in Denver, CO. We’ll be happy to help you. You can use the website or call (303) 805-5156 to contact us.
Dr. Cynthia Oberholtzer-Classen, DPM
Founder and Owner of Podiatry Associates, PC
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