Summertime Foot Care for Active Diabetics

Seasonal changes bring possible medical problems for diabetics that can have an impact on blood circulation and skin health. Today Dr. Hubert Lee of CarePlus Foot & Ankle Specialists is sharing his summertime foot care tips for diabetics on the go.

When a diabetic’s skin gets dehydrated, cracking and splitting of their skin can uncover underlying dermal layers that contain capillaries. And broken capillaries provide easy access for the bacteria that cause infection, which can progress into wounds that are difficult to heal.

The following tips provide insight on enhanced foot care for diabetics that will help prepare you to actively participate in outdoor activities this summer.

Summertime Foot Care for Active Diabetics

Peripheral vascular disease is a common problem that affects many diabetics when their feet don’t receive enough oxygen due to diminished circulation. Diabetic foot ulcers may also appear on the soles of the feet.

As the integrity of the skin weakens under continuous pressure, an open sore may develop into an ulcer if not treated immediately. These ulcers tend to occur more frequently during summer due to sweating feet.

5 Tips to Keep Your Diabetic Feet Happy and Healthy

Together with a diabetic-friendly diet and drinking, plenty of water, the following foot care tips for diabetics will help maintain the health of your feet.

  1. Don’t wear improperly-fitting shoes or constricting socks that can block blood flow to the feet. Special diabetic shoes and socks help your feet remain healthy while participating in summertime activities.
  2. Wash your feet daily with warm water and mild soap, drying them thoroughly, especially between the toes. Dampness between the toes promotes fungal infections, skin ulcers, and open wounds.
  3. Trim toenails to prevent them from cutting your skin or turning into ingrown toenails. Cut them straight across – but not too short – and file with an emery board.
  4. Soak your feet in warm water, then remove corns or calluses with a pumice stone.
  5. Sprinkle talcum powder or cornstarch in your shoes and socks to remove excess moisture before engaging in physical activity.

Even the smallest wounds that affect the feet of diabetics require immediate treatment. If you want your diabetic feet to be the healthy and happy this summer, contact the office of Dr. Hubert Lee at CarePlus Foot & Ankle Specialists today at (425) 455-0936 to book an appointment or schedule an appointment online.

Are Your Feet Happy and Healthy This Summer?

Together with walks on the beach, dips in the pool and cooling ice cream, the chance to show off your feet is an extra bonus of summer. The time has come to don strappy sandals and give your feet some air. But with that freedom also comes a new set of concerns. Today Dr. Hubert Lee of CarePlus Foot & Ankle Specialists is sharing his tips to keep your feet happy and healthy all summer long.

Don’t forget the SPF. Most people don’t think about it, but your feet and hands are just as susceptible to sun damage as the rest of your body. And a sunburn on your feet can make shoes feel uncomfortable. Pay special attention to the tops of your feet when applying sunscreen and re-apply as needed.

Wash your feet daily. Keeping your feet clean in the summer is particularly important, especially if you spend time in thin-soled sandals or walk barefoot outdoors. Studies have shown that your feet can come in contact with as many as 18,000 different types of bacteria when wearing these types of shoes.

Don’t only wear flip-flops. Besides making it easy for you to pick up germs, flip-flops can also affect your posture and lead to orthopedic issues. When people wear flip-flops, they typically take smaller steps than they do in athletic shoes and use their toes to help keep them from sliding around. This can cause pain in the hips, lower back, and feet.

Air out your shoes. Athlete’s foot, which is characterized by flaky, peeling, itchy skin, is caused by a fungus that flourishes in damp, warm environments like sweaty socks or footwear. Let your footwear air out completely before putting them on, and wear fresh, cotton socks every day.

Avert and treat blisters. This is one of the most common difficulties people face when trying to maintain healthy, happy summer feet. The best prevention approach is to wear shoes that fit properly. If you do get a blister, resist the urge to pop it and see your podiatrist instead.

Exfoliate and moisturize your feet. A pedicure helps remove the dry skin that can harden, crack or cause uncomfortable calluses. Each day exfoliate your feet using a foot file, grainy foot scrub or pumice stone. Then moisturize them at day’s end with a moisturizing lotion to keep them hydrated.

Drink lots of water. When you don’t get enough water during the warmer weather, your blood thickens slightly, which impedes circulation and can lead to painful swelling. Always carry water with you, particularly when the weather is very hot and drink it even when you’re not thirsty.

Watch out for warts or growths. Examine your feet for warts or other growths. Warts are typically harmless and can be easily treated, but they should always be looked at by a podiatrist. Strange growths also need to be examined to rule out skin cancer.

If you want your feet to be the happiest and healthiest they can be this summer, contact the office of Dr. Hubert Lee at CarePlus Foot & Ankle Specialists today at (425) 455-0936 to book an appointment or schedule an appointment online so we can schedule a checkup.

When It’s Time to See a Podiatrist for an Ingrown Toenail

If your big toe swells or feels sore, you may have an ingrown toenail. With this condition, skin grows over the edge of the nail, causing pain, infection, and swelling. Read on for more information from Dr. Hubert Lee of CarePlus Foot & Ankle Specialists regarding this common condition and how it can be treated – or better yet – prevented.

Preventing Ingrown Toenails

Prevention begins with wearing shoes that fit properly. To ensure a correct fit, the toe of the shoe should provide adequate room so that your toes aren’t overcrowded, which is a common cause of ingrown toenails. When you stand up there should be at least a half inch of space between the tip of the shoe and your longest toe.

We also recommend that patients cut their toenails straight across with clean toenail clippers. Keep feet dry and clean and guard against injury by wearing shoes when necessary.

Seeking Medical Help For An Ingrown Toenail

Left untreated, ingrown toenails can become infected and worsen, leading to significant swelling and pain. It can also lead to serious complications, including gangrene and/or a bone infection.

Your ingrown toenail needs professional help from a podiatrist when:

  • It doesn’t show signs of improvement after two to three days of at-home treatments;
  • The pain becomes substantially worse;
  • Redness extends away from the toe;
  • Pus begins to form;
  • You have neuropathy in your feet from a different condition.

Treatment From Your Podiatrist for Ingrown Toenails

The treatment method your podiatrist chooses is dependent on the severity of the condition, how often they occur, and the reason they develop.

For mild cases, the nail is lifted by placing a wedge of cotton beneath it. This raises the nail above the skin, thereby eliminating the ingrown nail and permitting the skin to heal. Part of the toenail may also have to be removed.

In repeated cases, the side of the nail may need to be removed, including its root. A special medication is applied that destroys the nail root, preventing regrowth and averting future ingrown toenails.

While ingrown toenails may just seem like an annoyance, when left untreated, they can lead to serious medical issues. Don’t let that happen – contact the office of Dr. Hubert Lee at CarePlus Foot & Ankle Specialists today at (425) 455-0936 to book an appointment or schedule an appointment online so we can discuss your treatment options.