Diabetes and Summer Foot Care

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The official start of summer is almost here and the weather is getting warmer, which means flip-flops and bare feet, right?  But if you have type 2 diabetes, this can be dangerous, particularly if you have peripheral neuropathy or are experiencing diminished sensation, peripheral arterial disease, or chronically high blood sugars. Today, Dr. William Buffone of North Fork Podiatry/Three Village Podiatry is sharing his tips to keep your diabetic feet happy and healthy this summer.

If you have diabetes, there are numerous ways to protect your feet this summer:

Wear protective shoes, even while at the beach. Never walk on hot sand without shoes, as it can burn your feet. Also, don’t wade into the ocean without wearing beach shoes.

Do your own nails. Not all nail salons exercise good hygiene, and even if they do, the pedicure baths they use can be a breeding ground for fungus and bacteria.

The best advice is to not frequent nail salons, but if you do, make sure they don’t cut your toenails too short or remove calluses or cut cuticles as those tasks should be performed by your podiatrist.

Get into a healthy routine. Dry your feet thoroughly, especially between your toes after being in water, as excess moisture can result in a fungal infection. Rub lotion on your feet each day for relief of cracked, dry skin. Avoid putting lotion between your toes or soaking your feet, as this can compromise the integrity of your skin and elevate your risk of injury.  

Inspect your feet daily. If you notice something on your feet that seems out of the ordinary such as a wound, cut, or cracked skin, contact your podiatrist right away. It’s much easier to take care of an issue when it is diagnosed right away. A small cut can quickly turn into a serious infection if not promptly addressed.

See your podiatrist for routine exams. It's important to have a complete foot exam each year, as well as examine your feet each day, and exercise good hygiene. Not all people who have diabetes will have foot-related issues, but those who ignore them may. Podiatrists are skilled at cutting toenails the proper way, and they can determine if you are eligible for diabetic footwear.

If you follow these tips, your feet will remain healthy and happy all summer long. If you do notice a problem, contact Dr. William Buffone of North Fork Podiatry/Three Village Podiatry as soon as possible to schedule an appointment. You can reach Three Village Podiatry at (631) 474-3338, North Fork Podiatry (Southold) at (631) 765-6777 or North Fork Podiatry (Riverhead) at (631) 419-7107 today or schedule your appointment online.