As temperatures have risen across the U.S., people are baring more skin. Snow boots and tennis shoes now reside in the back of the closet, having been replaced by flip‐flops and other forms of open‐toed shoes. Summer is synonymous with sandal season for everyone, including those living with diabetes. For people living with diabetes, wearing sandals means paying close attention to your feet. In this post, I’ve included a few tips and resources to help you keep your feet safe, while enjoying these warm summer months.
1. Check your feet every day. You want to check your bare feet for red spots, cuts, any swelling and blisters. Make sure you examine both of your feet entirely. Look over the top, heel, bottom, and in between the toes of each foot. If you cannot see the bottom of your foot, consider using a mirror to inspect it.
2. Wash your feet every day and be sure to dry them thoroughly, especially between your toes.
3. Keep toenails trimmed. Trim them straight across to avoid an ingrown toenail.
4. Apply sunscreen on your feet (and all over your body) to avoid sunburn.
5. Be sure to continue wearing comfortable and protective shoes and regularly check inside your shoes for wear and tear. This will help keep your feet in good shape.
6. If you do have any cuts or sores on your feet, make sure to clean and care for the wound continuously.
7. Don’t go barefoot. You never know what you’re stepping on, so don’t risk it. Protect your feet from hot and cold weather. Always wear shoes on the beach or on hot pavement, and always test the water before jumping in.
8. If the shoe or sandal fits, enjoy it! Remember to be smart when deciding to wear sandals and ensure that they are the appropriate size and provide the right amount of support and protection needed. For those of you interested in flip‐flops, the American Podiatric Medical Association recently released a video on flip‐flop summer tips. Check it out by visiting their website.
9. Everyone’s different. Be sure to consult your doctor or podiatrist, before you begin wearing your sandals.
10. If you have cuts or sores on your feet, call your healthcare provider right away if the area does not heal or gets red or has any drainage.
While I hope these tips are helpful, be sure to talk to your doctor if you have questions. Continue to have a fun yet safe summer!