Many people wear flip-flops or sandals all summer, or even go barefoot.
But for some, particularly the nearly 26 million Americans living with diabetes, this kind of casual attire is not recommended, as foot ulcers, which are open sores or wounds, can develop easily and occur in approximately 15 percent of patients with the disease.
Of those diabetics who develop a foot ulcer, 14 to 24 percent will have an amputation due to infection or other ulcer-related complications. Due to these risks, diabetics must manage their disease, take precautions, and seek special care when a wound does develop.
Sturdy’s Wound Management Services (WMS) specializes in the evaluation and treatment of chronic, non-healing wounds, educates diabetics on proper foot care, and provides care to diabetic wounds so they may enjoy full and active lifestyles, especially in the summer. Here are some foot health tips for diabetics to follow during the remainder of the summer, and all year long, provided by WMS:
- Never walk barefoot, especially on the beach, at the pool, or in the locker room. This will help avoid cuts or puncture wounds from 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. Injuries or burns could go unnoticed by patients with peripheral neuropathy, who have lost the protective sensation that would alert them to a problem.
- Pay close attention to your feet when wearing certain shoe styles such as sandals, flip-flops or anything with straps between the toes, shoes with open toes or heels, or shoes that squeeze toes together, which can cause blisters or sores.
- 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.
To learn more about WMS, call 508-236-7600 or visit the Hospital website at www.sturdymemorial.org.
Sturdy Memorial Hospital is a full-service, independent, financially stable, not-for-profit acute care community hospital inAttleboro, Massachusetts.