Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : January 18th 2015 Contents CARNIVAL IS YOUR TIME -- you've been planning for this since last
year. You've got your costume and your crew, and you are ready for
the road, but have you found the right shoes? As Chiropodist/Podi-
atrist Ann Lima says, "Persons must be cautious when purchasing
shoes and boots for Carnival. You must ensure that you have the
right fit, and that those feet are always comfortable." The foot doc-
tor, whose office is located on Leotaud Street, San Fernando,
added, "Diabetics have to be extra careful when playing Mas. Only
low-risk diabetics who have been cleared by their multidisciplinary
team should decide on playing Mas, and remember that prevention
is always better than cure."
Lima, who works with her son, Ryan Lima, a foot care Sspecialist,
pointed out that "any form of pressure would create problems for
the feet, especially for diabetics." She warned that "it only takes 24
hours for blisters and the like to become infected (where diabetics
are concerned). Forty percent of diabetic patients coming to me
after Carnival come with pressure ulcers, and others come with dia-
betic foot ulcers and venous leg ulcers. Eighty to 85 percent of pa-
tients come in with fungal nails and in-grown toenails."
She has also seen discoloured nails (from purple to black), lifting
nails, and bruising after Carnival. She reminded masqueraders that
while they may love the look of mas boots, "Not everyone is the
same, and some may actually get a better fit with track shoes."
"Some boots and footwear may not have the right depth and
width to accommodate the feet," she said, "and this can lead to
corns, calluses, blisters, in-grown toenails, pressure sores and other
So now that you have time to get yourself comfortable shoes,
what should you do to ensure that you get the right fit? "It is advis-
able to have your feet measured before buying or fitting accord-
ingly," said Lima, "and diabetics may need more padding in their
footwear." She then recommended that diabetics wear New Bal-
ance sneakers, which are available right here in Trinidad. "Some of
the more popular brands don't give you the width, and this brand
does." Birkenstock footwear is another good brand for persons with
Lima also said that there should be enough room to wiggle the toes
in your sneakers, and warned against getting shoes that are of a
size bigger. "Get shoes that fit well, and please don't get shoes that
To help with the toenails there is a nail protection oil, available at
Lima's office, that is antifungal, and particularly useful for diabetics.
"Scanning of the feet by the Orthotic and Prosthetic Society of
Trinidad and Tobago is also a great help with foot complications,"
Lima added. "Many complications are picked up with the scan, and
this certainly helps the non-diabetics with conditions such as fallen
arches, flat feet, calcaneal spurs, pronation, supination, calluses,
neuromas and more."
Diabetics should also wear diabetic socks, which are available at her
office and a few health stores. These come with padding at the
toes, heels and all the arches. "If possible, diabetics should carry a
second pair of shoes when playing Mas. It is important to air out
the feet, too. If you can, take along a spray bottle with methylated
spirits, and spray the toes so the moisture will be absorbed. There
are also creams that can get rid of the moisture, and antifungal
sprays which you can use to spray the boots/sneakers, the feet and
the socks, when you have aired them out."
| WELLNESS |
6| WOW MAGAZINE
Sunday Guardian www.guardian.co.tt January 18, 2015
By Bavina Sookdeo
Masqueraders may love the
look of Mas boots.
Not everyone is the same,
and some may actually get a
better fit with track shoes.
In addition, diabetics should not wear strappy sandals, because
they will definitely rub against the skin, causing blisters. To those of
you who are not diabetic and decide to wear strappy sandals, the
foot doctor insisted that you wear sun-block on the feet, since the
sun damages feet as well.
The foot specialist then sent out a stern warning, "If a diabetic sus-
tains an injury, get out of the band and get it checked immediately.
If further harm is prevented, you will not lose your feet."
The next bit of advice she sent out to diabetics? "Don't walk bare-
foot. Dust and shake out your shoes before wearing them to en-
sure that there are no stones or other items that can harm the
diabetic foot." To those diabetics who are going to the beach, she
insisted that you wear beach shoes. "The sand is sometimes so hot
that diabetics get burnt (and don't know it because they have no
sensation under their feet) and they develop ulcers."
As for those young diabetics who insist on having their pedicure
done before that big fete, she warned that you should not soak the
feet, and you should stay away from nail polish if the nails are dis-
coloured. "Wait until it heals, because moisture gets trapped under
the nail polish, and this will cause the fungus to flourish." To non-di-
abetics who have varicose veins, she insists that you wear your
vascular support stockings. To those diabetics who also have vari-
cose veins, the foot doctor said, "I hope you're not playing Mas, be-
cause you should not; and please wear your vascular support
stockings and proper footwear."
The foot specialist insisted that persons visit their podiatrist so
they can get proper information and have a proper consultation;
Ann Lima's consultations are free. She urged diabetics to, "Remem-
ber that the smallest lesion, if seen in time, can prevent complica-
tions and save the diabetic's feet. If in doubt after Carnival, do not
hesitate to visit your healthcare practitioner. It could save your toe,
limb or life."
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