The Risks of Using Flip-flops for Diabetics
Light, practical, and don’t make your feet feel tight are some of the reasons that make flip flops your favorite footwear. However, people with diabetes (diabetes) should avoid using flip-flops too often because it can affect the health of their feet. Why should its use be limited? Check the answers below.
Why Diabetics Need to Avoid Wearing Flip-Flops?
You must have often heard that diabetics need to give extra care to their feet. The reason is, minor problems such as calluses or scratches can become serious problems.
Although it can provide comfort, diabetics are not advised to wear flip-flops for a long time. Its continuous use may cause some foot problems.
The straps of flip-flops can put pressure on and cause friction on the feet, causing blisters or calluses. In addition, wearing open footwear will also increase the risk of gravel or sand getting into the sandal area and eventually scratching the feet.
In diabetics, this problem can become a more serious condition because the wound healing process takes longer so that the risk of infection and complications also increases.
The infection that occurs can spread to the tissue and bone around the wound. In some cases, this infection can have fatal effects, namely amputation.
Even if there is no infection, sores that don’t heal can affect health and quality of life, such as difficulty walking and pain when exercising.
Wound healing and blood sugar have a link. Diabetes is a condition of the body when insulin cannot work properly so that glucose accumulates in the blood.
When glucose levels in the blood are high, the function of white blood cells in fighting pathogens is also disrupted. This is what causes the risk of infection to be higher in diabetics.
In addition, diabetes can also make it difficult for the body’s cells to get nutrients and oxygen, eventually the process of forming new tissue becomes obstructed.
Diabetes can also cause nerve damage. This condition can prevent diabetics from feeling pain when there is a wound on their feet when using flip flops. These unnoticed wounds can go untreated and eventually lead to infection.
Therefore, diabetics are advised to avoid using flip-flops to avoid the risk of injury to their feet.
Also Read: Are Fatty Foods Dangerous for Diabetics?
Tips for Choosing Footwear for Diabetics
One way to keep your feet healthy is to wear suitable footwear. Footwear that fits and is comfortable can reduce friction and reduce the risk of foot injuries.
Here are some tips that can help you choose footwear, including:
1. Select Closed Footwear
Diabetics are recommended to wear footwear that covers the toes and the back of the feet to prevent injuries. Sandal-type footwear is generally open and can provide access for sand or gravel to enter, thereby increasing the risk of injury.
Covered footwear can ensure all parts of your feet are protected and reduce unnecessary friction.
2. Choose Materials that are Light and Flexible
Shoes made of leather and canvas are ideal footwear for diabetics. Shoes made of this material are generally durable, flexible, and breathable so you can wear them for a long time without feeling sick.
You are advised to avoid shoes made of rubber because this material is not able to provide air circulation. As a result, the sweat on the feet cannot dry and eventually increases the risk of infection.
3. Make sure there is a cushion on the sole
You should choose shoes that have thick soles and can withstand impacts. This type of sole can reduce pressure on the bottom of the foot.
You are also advised to avoid sneakers type shoes because of minimal cushioning. If worn for a long time, these shoes can cause blisters and ulcers.
Also Read: Why Can Stress Trigger Diabetes? Here’s the reason
4. Choose Lace-up Shoes
Wear lace-up shoes will help you to adjust the tightness. If you have trouble wearing lace-up shoes, you can wear shoes with Velcro fasteners. These shoes can also adjust the tightness according to the condition of the feet.
Swollen feet are a common problem found in diabetics. Therefore, choosing the right footwear is important. If you choose wrong, then the risk of injury becomes higher.
- DiLonardo, Mary Jo. 2021. Shoes and Diabetes: What’s on Your Feet Matters. https://www.webmd.com/diabetes/shoes-and-diabetes. (Accessed 2 February 2023).
- Mastroianni, Brian. 2018. Thin or Thick Sole: What’s the Best Type of Shoe for Running? https://www.healthline.com/health-news/are-minimal-sneakers-better-for-running. (Accessed 2 February 2023).
- Ogletree, Kelsey. 2022. The Best Shoes If You Have Diabetes, According to Podiatrists. https://www.eatingwell.com/article/7947930/best-shoes-if-you-have-diabetes/. (Accessed 2 February 2023).
- Swaim, Emily. 2022. Flip-Flops Aren’t Great for Your Feet — Here’s Why, Plus Alternatives to Try. https://www.healthline.com/health/are-flip-flops-bad-for-your-feet. (Accessed 2 February 2023).
- Villalines, Zawn. 2022. How Does Diabetes Affect Wound Healing? https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/320739. (Accessed 2 February 2023).
- Watson, Stephanie. 2016. Do I Need Diabetic Shoes? https://www.healthline.com/health/diabetes/diabetic-shoes. (Accessed 2 February 2023).
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