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From Denton, Texas, USA:

My son has type 1 diabetes, and after returning from the beach recently, we were told that people with diabetes should not go barefooted because the athletes' foot fungus is a serious problem with diabetics. Is this true?


I suspect the reason for caution regarding feet is that in older people who have had diabetes for a long time, there can be problems with circulation in the feet, and if there are any injuries to the feet, the injury can take a long time to heal up, but this is not usually a problem in children. Nevertheless, it is good advice to take care of your feet and to look after you feet, especially taking care when walking barefooted. Fungal infections of the feet, such as athlete's foot, are very common, are not a particular problem for children with diabetes, but again, older people with diabetes are at risk of chronic infections of the skin of the feet and nails, which can cause problems.


Additional comments from Lois Schmidt Finney, diabetes dietitian:

At our program, we recommend that all people with diabetes, regardless of their age, use sandals or flip flops or similar beach shoes on their feet. Even in younger folks with diabetes, foot infections or cuts or abrasions of any sort can be extremely difficult to heal.


Original posting 25 Apr 2001
Posted to Daily Care


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Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:09:22
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