A Diabetics Guide To Foot Care
As a diabetic, neglecting to look after your feet properly can result in a number of health complications ranging from small open wounds right the way through to having to amputate. With a few simple changes to your routine and some more awareness this article is going to show you how a number of small changes can do a lot to keep your diabetic feet from becoming a problem.
If you follow the simple steps below you can effectively manage and prevent your diabetes associated foot problems.
Examine your feet everyday
you should be looking out for any cuts, blisters, nail problems or any unusual swelling. It helps to use a small mirror so that you can see the underside of your foot easily. If you find anything unusual contact your podiatrist or doctor.
Don’t wash your feet in hot water
When you are washing your feet make sure to test the water temperature first. As diabetics commonly have nerve problems you may be burning or scalding your feet without realizing. Luke warm water is best as it will also be gentle enough for any swelling.
Be gentle washing your feet
Try and avoid using anything too abrasive like a loofa or brush as your skin is already quite sensitive. A soft sponge or cloth should do the trick and be especially careful to dry your feet properly particularly between your toes.
Moisturize everywhere except...
…Between your toes. The skin here is already soft because it has minimal contact with your shoes and socks though because this area is normally damp any lotions or moisturiser may encourage the growth of fungus and a resulting infection.
Take care when clipping your toenails
Cutting your nails too short could cause ingrown. You want to avoid any sharp edges and as such its recommended to cut your nails straight across then use a file to deal with the edges.
If you have any ingrown toenails, calluses or corns on your feet make sure you don’t try to remedy the issue yourself. Your podiatrist will not only have the right tools but will ensure you don’t hurt yourself.
Anytime you are in your shoes or sandals wear socks and be sure to replace them regularly. There are a range of diabetics socks available made especially for diabetic feet. Otherwise make sure that you have a good fitted sock without an elastic band that is too tight so you don’t restrict any blood flow to your feet.
When your feet get cold
Wear socks even in bed, other heating sources like electric blankets, hot water bottles should be avoided as you won’t be able to regulate the temperature appropriately as your feet likely have some circulation and nerve problems.
Check your shoes before you put them on
As you may not be able to feel if there is anything foreign inside your shoes you should get into the habit of turning your shoes upside down and shaking them gently before you wear them. A small pebble can cause havoc to your feet with you still blissfully unaware.
Always Wear Shoes or Slippers
Not in bed of course, but you should avoid walking barefoot even round the house.
Get your feet examined regularly
Scheduling regular exams with a Podiatrist will ensure that you can catch any problems before they become unmanageable.
Perhaps the best thing that you can do is to manage your diabetes. By maintaining the proper diet and exercise routine you will keep your blood sugar in control and help to improve the circulation to your feet and the rest of your body. If you are a smoker quitting will greatly increase the circulation in your feet.
Diabetes foot care involves adhering to some simple steps and staying on top of your condition. There are also a number of diabetic shoe stores that you can visit for advice and specific products including orthopedic shoe inserts. If you are in any doubt about your condition don’t hesitate to contact your doctor or podiatrist.