Jewels Doskicz is a registered nurse, freelance writer, patient advocate, health coach, and long-distance cyclist. Jewels is the moderator of Diabetic Connect’s weekly #DCDE Twitter chat, and she and her daughter both live healthfully with type 1 diabetes.
Growing up with type 1 diabetes, I remember a repetitive one-way conversation with my parents around foot care and how important it was for me specifically. Back then, I didn't really understand the reasoning behind the rules and regulations I had to live by, but then I saw a HuffPost article titled "Healthy Feet: 7 Tips For Summer," where author Laura Schocker had some great foot-care tips surrounding the flip-flop weather we all love.
So perhaps my mom was right.
As we pull off our wool socks and think about lighter footwear for the summer, a thoughtful pause is important.
You may enjoy walking barefoot, but it does place one at an increased risk for injury and infection. Exercise caution and be judicial about your footwear decisions.
3 simple steps to making your summer safe and healthy for your feet
Purchase comfortable footwear. Try wearing a new pair of sandals inside your house first so you can return them if any problems spots crop up. You'll want to make sure your feet aren't being rubbed raw anywhere by straps or buckles.
Take a daily note about how your feet look. If you already have neuropathy, the disease can affect your ability to feel pain or injury in the feet. New sandals may cause chaffing or blisters, particularly those painful ones between your first and second toes, but if you can't feel it, you won't know without taking a closer look!
Think twice about getting a pedicure. The pedicure tools, whirlpool chairs, and other instruments may be contaminated with fungus or bacteria from other customers before you. If you do decide to get your toes done, heed some good advice. According to Schocker, "Don't shave or wax your legs for at least 24 hours before your appointment—hair removal can cause microscopic cuts, increasing susceptibility to infection."
Keeping your feet healthy this summer doesn't have to be a pain. Be vigilant and you'll be able to enjoy all the things you love about summer.