Diabetic Foot Care
When you have diabetes, it can lead to serious foot problems, so it’s important to take precautions to maintain healthy feet. Keeping your feet healthy with diabetes should include maintaining a good foot care regiment and following some basic precautions.
Daily Foot Care
Here are a few foot care habits to adopt into your everyday routine:
Inspect your feet
Check your feet and toes. Be sure to inspect the tops, sides, soles, heels, and the area in between the toes. If you’re physically unable to inspect your own feet, ask someone for help or use a mirror. If you discover any sores, redness, cuts, blisters, or bruisers, contact your doctor immediately.
Wash your feet
Every day you should wash your feet with warm water and mild soup. Keep in mind, hot water and harsh soaps can damage your skin. An easy way to check the water temperature before putting your feet in is to use your fingers or elbow to test. Diabetes can make it difficult to sense water temperature with your feet.
Dry your feet
Make sure to dry your feet well. Infections can develop in moist areas, so make sure you dry the area between your toes.
Moisturize dry skin
If the skin on your feet feels rough or dry, you can use lotion or oil. However, do not use lotion between your toes.
Healthy Foot Habits
Following good foot care habits can go a long way toward keeping your feet healthy, Here are some helpful tips.
- Consult a doctor before using antiseptic solutions on your feet. These solutions can burn your feet.
- Never use a hot water bottle, heating pad, or electric blanket on your feet
- Avoid walking barefoot. It’s common knowledge to avoid walking barefoot on hot pavement or sandy beaches, but even walking barefoot around the house can cause sores or injuries that get infected.
- Protect your feet from heat and cold
- Never attempt to remove corns, calluses, warts, or other lesions yourself. Never use chemical wart removers, razor blades, corn plasters, or liquid corn and callus removers. For safe and effective removal, see your doctor or podiatrist.
- Don’t sit with your legs crossed or stand in one position for long periods of time.
People with diabetes should also perform routine toenail care. However, visual difficulty, nerve problems, or circulatory changes in the legs and feet can make this unsafe.
If you are able to safely trim your toenails yourself, this can help you avoid getting an ulcer or footsore. Consult with your healthcare provider to see if it’s safe for you to perform routine toenail care yourself. Be sure to ask them to show you the correct way.
Here are some tips for proper toenail care:
- Trimming your toenails after washing your feet can make the process easier because the water softens the nails.
- Instead of cutting in a curved fashion cut straight across. This can help prevent ingrown toenails.
- Don’t cut into the corners. Instead, use an emery board to smooth the edges.
- Avoid accidentally cutting toenails too short.
- If you can’t see well, or if your nails are thick or yellowed, have your toenails trimmed by your Podiatrist or another healthcare provider.
Following the tips and taking proper precautions can help avoid further foot problems. A doctor should examine your feet at every appointment and do a thorough foot exam once a year. If you have a history of foot problems, you’ll need to be checked more often. Your Podiatrist should give you information on foot care and answer all your questions. Report any corns, calluses, sores, cuts, bruises, infections, or foot pain. If you have yet to see a Podiatrist for ongoing feet pain or complications, now is the time to do so!