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3 Beach Safety Tips for Diabetics

Beach safety tips for diabetics are the best way to prevent foot complications on vacation. Now diabetic foot care is one of our specialties at Louetta Foot and Ankle. Just ask our patient Gayle M., who recently shared “Husband has been seeing Dr Amy for several years. Was referred to her, as he is diabetic and needed specialty care. Have had great care with attention to needs. Very friendly and personable. Knowledgeable on specific diabetic care. Nice office and easy appointments. Very pleased with Dr Walsh.”

Still, between visits, we need you to know the best ways to keep your diabetic feet safe from injury. And now is an important time to review these beach safety tips, as we approach the Labor Day weekend, and the season’s final beach days.


Diabetic Foot Hazards at the Beach

beach safety tips for diabetics

Photo by Laura Gilchrist on Unsplash

Recently, FLOTUS Dr. Jill Biden made headlines after she punctured her foot while walking on the beach in Hawaii. The injury was fairly serious, sending her to the hospital for a surgical cleanout. (And leaving her in a walking boot while she recovered from the procedure.)

Now, puncture wounds are a real danger for anyone walking along the beach—you could step on anything from broken glass to a sharp shell. And that could leave you with a deep cut that may need stitches. Not to mention potential infection, since beach debris isn’t exactly sterile.

If you have diabetes, puncture wounds are even more dangerous. That’s because, when you have diabetes, neuropathy may reduce feeling in your feet. In that case, you could be walking on an open wound without realizing there’s a problem.

Even worse? Since this disease can compromise blood flow to your feet, wounds may be slower to heal. Which is why this combination could leave you vulnerable to ulcers, and the possibility of losing your feet.


Hot Sand and Other Dangers

Even when the beach is free from debris, walking barefoot is a bad idea.  Under the strong Texas sun, sand can reach dangerously hot temperatures. Then, when you factor in decreased sensation on your feet, simply walking from your beach blanket to the water could leave your feet with burns. And, again, that could lead to un-healing wounds, also known as ulcers.

Finally, the beach is a walking surface shared by many people. In other words, there are lots of germs and contagious fungi, just waiting to attack your feet. So, to avoid fungal nail infections, it’s best to keep those feet covered, unless you’re swimming in the ocean. (And even then, water shoes aren’t the worst idea.)

Beach Safety for Diabetics: End of Day Checklist

With all the hazards waiting in the sand, it’s important to check your feet thoroughly at the end of a beach day. Look for any small cuts or scrapes, then carefully clean and dry your feet to avoid potential infections.

Of course, as with any diabetic foot exam, we want you to look for any changes to your foot’s appearance. Because, if there’s even a chance you punctured your foot at the beach, or sustained any kind of foot wound, you need to make an appointment at our Spring or Tomballl, TX office right away. Doing so is the best way to prevent your day of fun in the sand from leaving with lasting foot problems!