“Golden Rules” for Diabetic Foot Care This Season
This is the season of warmth. You may be tempted to shed your socks and shoes and savor the warmth of the sand on the shores of Lake Erie; to walk barefoot through the cool grass; to slip into a light sandal and feel the breeze on the skin that’s been imprisoned all winter.
But Dr. Craig B. Frey and Dr. Megan L. Oltmann of Foot & Ankle Associates of Cleveland are here to warn you that diabetics just can’t give in to that kind of temptation. The warm-weather dangers that face all of our patients’ feet become much more threatening to those who suffer from diabetes.
So diabetics, take note of these three specific and easy rules that you can follow to keep your feet safe and healthy from now until the dog days of summer wane away into fall.
GOLDEN RULE #1: Wear appropriate shoes. If there’s one rule you stick to this year, make it this one: never go barefoot. The risks are too great – risks like stepping on hot pavement and not feeling it because of your neuropathy, or suffering a cut from stepping on a stone or a piece of glass . Even a minor cut can quickly become a serious infection when you have diabetes. We don’t even recommend sandals for diabetics. Your best protection from cuts, bruises, blisters, and calluses is a cushioned, supportive athletic shoe worn with a moisture-wicking sock.
GOLDEN RULE #2: Ban moisture. You know what happens to skin when it’s been soaking for a long time: it softens and begins to break down. Fungus and bacteria love a warm, wet environment and a place to enter the skin. So dry your feet thoroughly after swimming or bathing, and especially before putting on socks.
GOLDEN RULE #3: Get troublesome skin lesions treated by a podiatrist. Inspect your feet every day. Any kind of lesion such as a cut, scrape, or blister should be carefully watched for signs of trouble. If you have pain, redness, irritation, swelling, or pus make an appointment with us asap. If you have corns or calluses, don’t risk treating them yourself.
Follow these 3 “golden rules” to greatly decrease your risk of foot troubles this spring and summer. When you do have concerns, don’t wait: call our office in Solon, Ohio at (440) 903-1041 for prompt, accurate, and individualized treatment for the diabetic foot.