Many can’t wait to discard heavier layers for lighter clothing with warmer days, such as shorts, sandals, and t-shirts. But it’s also time to get your feet in the best shape, which is particularly important if you have diabetes. Because March 23 was American Diabetes Alert Day, today Dr. Timothy Barry of Family Foot & Ankle Care of Jasper in Dubois County is sharing tips to get your diabetic feet spring-ready.

Having diabetes elevates the chance of nerve damage and diminished blood flow to the feet, which can make it tough to feel if anything is hurting you, like a pebble in your shoe.

So, because your feet are more disposed to blisters and sores, they are at a higher risk of infection. Also, when you have diabetes, wounds take a long time to heal. These issues put you in danger of complications, including amputation.

Here are some steps you can take to have healthy, spring-ready feet year-round.

Examine your feet every day. Check your toenails and be on the lookout for blisters, calluses, corns, cuts, sores, swelling, and redness. Use a hand mirror if you have difficulty seeing the bottom of your feet.

Wash your feet with mild soap and warm water. Because of your diabetes, you may not feel how hot the water is, so test it using your elbow. Dry your feet using a soft, clean towel making sure you get between your toes.

Cover any sores or cuts with a sterile bandage. But if you notice any warts, calluses, blisters, or corns, don’t attempt to treat them yourself. See a podiatrist as incorrectly treating them could put you at risk of infection.

Moisturize with a high-quality, scent-free lotion. Massage it into the top and sole of your feet but stay clear of the area between your toes, as too much moisture in that area can lead to fungal infections.

Cut toenails carefully. Cut your nails straight across, and don’t cut them too short to prevent getting ingrown toenails. File the edges with a nail file or emery board. Be sure to sterilize instruments after every use.

Wear proper footwear. Wear clean socks and properly fitted shoes, even when indoors, to protect your feet. Wear socks to bed if your feet tend to get cold at night.

Follow these tips for healthy, pretty, happy spring feet. If you notice any issues during your daily inspection, be sure to contact the office of Dr. Timothy Barry of Family Foot & Ankle Care of Jasper in Dubois County at (812) 481-7200 to schedule a consultation.