Special Summer Foot Care Needed For Diabetics - 8 News NOW

Paula Francis, Anchor

Special Summer Foot Care Needed For Diabetics

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With the hot weather we've had, its tempting to go barefoot or wear as little as possible on your feet. But for a diabetic, barefoot under a hot sun may not be a good idea. In this week's Dealing with Diabetes report, a local specialist explains why.

Las Vegas cafeteria worker, Ruby Spivey would like to kick off her shoes during the summer like everyone else. But as a diabetic -- she says it's not worth the risk.    

"My feet, it's how I make a living cause I'm always on my feet, walking. And I have to be sure they're working right. If something goes wrong with my feet, I won't be able to work, and there's a possibility they might get infected," said Spivey.

Podiatrist Cyaandi Dove cautions her diabetic patients about a number of potential hazards during the summer. "One of the things I tell patients, especially here in Las Vegas, is never, never walk barefoot," she said. Nerve damage from diabetes may prevent someone from feeling the heat.   

"You can actually sustain second and third burns on the bottoms of your feet, which can lead to ulcers and hospitalization and actually foot loss as well," she said. 

Dr. Dove says flip-flops offer little protection and are not a good idea for diabetics. The more solid sandal is a better choice -- but not all the time.

"Foreign bodies can get into the sandal. They can step on things. Insects can have access to their feet and cause problems with bites and things like that. So the sandal... it's not an absolute that they don't wear it. They can wear it for shorter periods of times. And they need to be very vigilant when they do wear it," she said. 

As for Ruby, diabetes runs in her family and some relatives have lost their toes. She's not taking any chances. "You can lose your toes. So I take my diabetes more seriously now. I watch my feet. And keep them covered most of the time," she said.

One of the most active summer insects, the ant, can cause big problems for a diabetic with poor glucose control. An ant bite on the foot can escalate into a serious infection. 

For more about summer foot care for the diabetic, click here.

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