Summer Foot Care for People With Diabetes

People with vision loss and diabetes need to take increased precautions during the summer months to prevent injury to their feet. "Our concerns for diabetes patients in extreme heat involve swelling, dryness, cracking from wearing sandals, and problems associated with walking barefoot, such as puncture wounds, burns, and blisters from hot pavement," said Thanh Dinh, DPM, FACFAS, a foot and ankle surgeon working in the diabetes clinic at Boston's Beth Israel Deaconess-Joslin Foot Center.

The following tips, brought to you by the Center for the Visually Impaired in Georgia, will keep your feet happy this summer!

  • Never walk barefoot on the beach, at the pool, in the locker room, or inside your house. This will help you avoid sharp objects, burns from hot pavement or sand, abrasions from rough, anti-slip surfaces, and contact with viruses or bacteria, which can lead to fungal infections or other foot problems.
  • Apply sunscreen to the tops and bottoms of your feet to protect against sunburn.
  • Use caution when walking or getting your feet too close to campfires.
  • If needed, moisturize your feet, but do not apply lotion between your toes.
  • Wear support stockings and elevate your feet when possible if you experience swelling. This can help to prevent impaired circulation and nerve function.

For more information on caring for your feet if you have diabetes and visual impairment, see the Reducing Risks section of the AFB Senior Site Diabetes Guide.

AFB wishes you and your feet a happy and healthy summer. TIPS will return in September.