5 Summer Tips for Your Feet and Toes

Protection is key no matter the time of year.

Joy Pape By Joy Pape, RN, BSN, CDE, WOCN, CFCN

You may think it's getting near the end of the summer, but it's not the end of the heat. In fact, we may have some of the hottest days ahead of us.

Here's what you need to do to protect your feet in the heat of the day.

Protect your medications and supplies.

What? You think these aren't related to your feet? They are! Managing your blood sugar is your first protection for your feet. Part of managing your blood sugar includes taking your medications and monitoring. Your medications (including insulin and other injectable medications) should be kept in a cool dry place. If you are not sure what temperatures these should be stored at, try these tips:

  1. Your meter and strips — call the toll-free number on the back of your meter. Ask what the recommended temperature for your supplies is.
  2. Your medications — call your pharmacist. Ask what temperature to keep each of your medications at. Remember, room temperature is considered to be about 68° - 80° F. If your home or where you keep these supplies is hotter than that, it's too warm. Ask which can and cannot be kept in a refrigerator. If you have family or friends nearby that have air conditioning, ask if you can keep your medications and supplies — other than the ones you need for the day — with them.

Wear protective shoes.

It is tempting to walk barefoot, not wear socks, and wear flip-flops and sandals in the summer. Learn more by checking out Walking barefoot can lead to summer toes and feet woes, Flip-Flops, No Socks, and Crocs, and Barefoot on the Beach? Not!

Break your shoes in.

Whether it's just new shoes to wear around home, or new shoes for your trip, break your new shoes in slowly. Buy them later in the day. This way, if your feet swell as the day goes on, you'll have the right fit. Wear them for short periods of time at home, about one to two hours a day, until you are sure they won't cause any rubbing, which leads to redness or an open area. This includes traveling. Many people buy new clothes and new shoes for their vacations. Always bring an extra pair of shoes along that you know and trust to wear also. Switch between the two.

Take a look at this picture.

This was from wearing a new pair of shoes without socks or stockings for a 20-minute walk outside. Although it doesn't look big, it can still be dangerous. Prevent this from happening by breaking in your shoes at home and wearing socks or stockings.

Dry your feet well, especially between your toes.

Moisture can cause athlete's foot, whether you are an athlete or not. Check out Athlete's Foot: Is it for Athletes Only?

Learn how to give yourself or your loved one a pedicure.

Surprised to hear that? Don't be. Learn how to do it safely at Perfect Your Pedicure.


Read Joy's bio here.

Read more of Joy Pape's columns.

NOTE: The information is not intended to be a replacement or substitute for consultation with a qualified medical professional or for professional medical advice related to diabetes or another medical condition. Please contact your physician or medical professional with any questions and concerns about your medical condition.

Last Modified Date: July 08, 2013

All content on dLife.com is created and reviewed in compliance with our editorial policy.

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by Brenda Bell
It's a known quantity that The Other Half and I handle our diabetes, and the rest of our medical issues, differently. Although he is more diligent about keeping to a time schedule for medications, his meal choices run further from green plants than mine do (sadly cold weather, persistent chill, budget, and tight schedules keep me further from five-a-day than I should like to be — hey, cheap frozen diet meal manufacturers, could you please make something that has vegetable...