DIABETIC FOOT CARE IN SUMMER: 5 TIPS TO MONITOR GLUCOSE, AND MAINTAIN HEALTHY FEET
Diabetes Foot Treatment: Diabetes affects around 72.9 million people in India, with a projected increase to approximately 134 million by 2045. Diabetic foot is one of the most common and devastating microvascular complications of diabetes.
With the arrival of summer, people with diabetes need to pay extra attention to their foot care. The hot weather, increased activity, and sweating can make foot problems more common, and for people with diabetes, even minor foot issues can quickly become serious complications. In addition to keeping feet clean and dry, wearing comfortable shoes, and protecting feet from the sun, it's crucial to regularly monitor glucose levels to prevent further foot problems. By following these simple tips, people with diabetes can ensure healthy and happy feet throughout the summer.
- Keep feet clean and dry: Sweating is a common problem in the summer and can lead to fungal infections like athlete's foot. To prevent this, make sure to keep your feet clean and dry. Wash them daily with mild soap and water, and pat dry them thoroughly, especially between the toes. If your feet sweat excessively, consider changing your socks midday or using an antifungal foot powder.
- Wear comfortable shoes: During summer, it's tempting to wear sandals or flip-flops to stay cool. However, for people with diabetes, these types of shoes can be problematic. They offer little support and can leave feet exposed to injury. Instead, choose shoes that fit well and provide adequate support. Look for breathable materials like canvas or leather, and avoid synthetic materials that can trap moisture.
- Protect feet from the sun: Sunburn can be painful and damaging to the skin, which is true for your feet. If you're going to be spending time outdoors, make sure to apply sunscreen to your feet, especially the tops and tips of your toes. You can also wear shoes or sandals that cover your feet or use a lightweight pair of socks that offer sun protection.
- Check feet regularly: People with diabetes are at increased risk for foot problems, and it's important to catch issues early before they become serious. Make a habit of checking your feet daily, looking for any cuts, blisters, or sores. If you have difficulty seeing the bottoms of your feet, use a mirror or ask a family member for help. If you notice any problems, contact your healthcare provider right away.
- Stay active: Exercise is great for overall health, but it's also important for foot health. Regular physical activity can improve circulation and help prevent foot problems like neuropathy. However, it's important to choose activities that are safe and appropriate for your individual needs. Talk to your healthcare provider about the most suitable exercise plan, and wear proper shoes and socks.
By following these simple tips, people with diabetes can enjoy a safe and healthy summer. Remember, foot problems can quickly escalate, so it's important to be vigilant and take care of your feet daily. If you have any concerns or questions about foot care, don't hesitate to contact your healthcare provider. With the right care and attention, you can keep your feet healthy and happy for years.
-- inputs by Dr Rakesh Bobba, MD (General Medicine), DM (Endocrinology), Consultant Endocrinologist, Aster Ramesh Hospitals, Vijayawada