Summer in Texas can be particularly challenging for those with diabetes, as high temperatures and humidity can have a direct impact on blood sugar levels. Heat can change how your body uses insulin, and it can cause dehydration. If you don’t drink enough liquids, it can raise blood glucose.

Patients who live with diabetes need to pay close attention to their feet during the hot summer months. To avoid heat-related foot problems, it's important to seek professional advice from a podiatrist. An experienced diabetic foot care podiatrist can diagnose and treat foot problems and provide preventative care and education to help keep your feet healthy. Caring for your diabetic feet in summer

How Diabetic Patients Can Avoid Summer Foot Problems in Texas

Patients with diabetes know they need to be especially mindful of foot health. But this is especially true in the summer. In the hot summer months, a diabetic patient may develop a variety of foot problems that can cause serious complications, so it’s critical that they do daily checks of their feet to look for sores and wounds. Here are some other ways to help protect diabetic feet in the summer:

Choosing the Right Footwear

Warm summer temperatures make most people want to kick off their heavy shoes and trade them for a pair of sandals or flip-flops. While these open styles feel freer and give more airflow, they provide space for glass, pebbles, and other foreign objects to get caught in the skin of your foot, and this is especially dangerous for those who are diabetic.

Those warm temperatures may also make some people want to go barefoot; however, going without shoes is also dangerous for diabetic patients. Without the protective material to safeguard your feet, you’re vulnerable to burns and stepping on sharp, hazardous objects on the ground. Because many diabetic patients suffer from neuropathy, they may not feel the pain when their foot is punctured or injured. Thus, it's critical that people who have diabetes wear close-toed shoes, even during the summer, wear shoes that don’t cause blisters or cramp the toes, and never go barefoot or expose their feet to hot, hard surfaces, such as cement or sand.

Avoiding Foot Injuries

Summer is a time for outdoor activities such as walking, hiking, and sports. However, these activities can also increase the risk of foot injuries for those with diabetes. Nerve damage caused by diabetes can make it difficult to feel pain or notice injuries, and this can lead to untreated wounds and infections.

To reduce the risk of injuries, start any new physical activity slowly and gradually increase intensity. Wear shoes that fit well and provide good support to help reduce the risk of injuries. It is also essential to inspect your feet daily for any cuts, blisters, or other injuries after physical activity and to treat them promptly.

Avoiding Dry Skin and Dehydration

One of the most common foot problems for diabetic patients in summer is dehydration and dry skin. High temperatures and increased activity levels can lead to excessive sweating, which can cause the feet to lose moisture. This can result in dry, cracked skin, which is more prone to infections.

To prevent dehydration and dry skin, stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water, and apply a moisturizing cream or lotion to the feet daily to help keep the skin soft and pliable.

Soaking up Moisture

When hot and humid weather causes you to sweat, the build-up of excess moisture in your shoes and socks can bring on blisters, fungal infections, and athlete’s foot. All of these can turn healthy feet into problem feet. It’s important that you change your socks on a regular basis, and consider using a medicated foot powder to keep your socks, shoes, and feet dry.  

Diabetic Foot Care Checklist for a Texas Summer

  • Daily diabetic foot care self-exam. Do a daily diabetic foot care self-exam to inspect your feet daily for any cuts, blisters, or other injuries or abnormalities. If you notice anything unusual, contact your podiatrist right away.
  • Moisturize. Apply a moisturizing cream or lotion to your feet daily to help to prevent dry, cracked skin. Avoid using lotion between your toes, which can create a moist environment that may promote fungal growth.
  • Protect your feet from sun and heat. Avoid prolonged sun exposure to your feet, and use sunscreen to protect them against sunburn. Use the strongest SPF available if you’re fair-skinned.
  • Cut your toenails carefully. It’s important to cut your toenails straight across, not on a curve, and file the edges. Also, don’t cut your nails too short because this could lead to an ingrown nail.
  • Avoid walking barefoot. Avoid walking barefoot, even indoors. Walking barefoot increases the risk of injuries to the bottoms of your feet and increases your chance of infections.

It’s important to contact a podiatrist if you notice open wounds on your feet or any signs of infection. A podiatrist is an essential part of your diabetes care team. They can provide guidance on proper foot care, offer preventative treatments, and help treat any existing foot problems. With proper foot care and regular check-ups, you can enjoy a safe and enjoyable summer without worrying about foot complications.

Austin Foot and Ankle Specialists Go the Distance for You

When you have a foot or an ankle problem, you want a team of specialists who will give you clear answers about your condition, treat you with state-of-the-art equipment, and provide you with a treatment plan that directly addresses your specific issue. Our podiatrists understand the importance of healthy feet, and with their education and training, they provide you with the best options for a speedy recovery.

The award-winning podiatrists at Austin Foot and Ankle Specialists are recognized across the country for their depth of knowledge, treatment options, and outstanding service. If you are experiencing foot or ankle pain, contact us at 512-328-8900, or take advantage of our online appointment scheduling.

Craig Thomajan
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Austin Podiatrist
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