Diabetes Foot Care. Love your Feet!
Why is Foot Care Important?
If you have diabetes, nerve damage, circulation problems, and infections can lead to serious foot problems. However, you can take precautions to maintain healthy feet.
High blood sugar levels over time can cause nerve damage and circulation problems. These problems can cause or contribute to foot problems. Left unnoticed or untreated, sores, ingrown toenails, and other problems can lead to infection. Poor circulation makes healing an infection difficult so it is best to avoid them if possible.
Infections that do not heal can cause skin and tissue to die and turn black resulting in Gangrene. Treatment can involve surgery to amputate a toe, foot, or part of a leg.
Managing your diabetes and maintaining a healthy lifestyle helps keep your feet healthy. Which includes,
You can help prevent serious foot problems by following a good foot care regimen.
Daily Foot Care
Check your feet and toes, inspecting the tops, sides, soles, heels and the area in between the toes. If you’re physically unable to inspect your own feet, use a mirror or ask someone to help. Contact your doctor immediately if you discover any sores, redness, cutes, blisters or bruises.
Wash your feet every day in warm water with mild soap. Hot water and harsh soaps can damage your skin. Check the water temperature with your fingers or elbow before putting your feet in. Your diabetes may make it difficult to sense water temperature with your feet.
Pat your feet to dry them and make sure to dry well. Infections tend to develop in moist areas, so make sure you dry the area between your toes well.
If the skin on your feet feels rough or dry, use lotion or oil. DO NOT use lotion between your toes.
Healthy Foot Habits
It’s possible for people with diabetes to perform routine toenail care. But visual difficulty, nerve problems, or circulatory changes in the legs or feet can make this unsafe.
If you’re able to safely trim your toenails yourself, doing so properly will help you avoid getting an ulcer or foot sore. Make sure to consult with your physician to see if it’s safe for you to perform routine toenail care. Ask them to show you the correct way.
Here are a few tips for proper toenail care:
Footwear: Shoes, Socks and Insoles
If you have neuropathy, or nerve damage that has affected foot sensitivity, you may overlook cuts or bumps. You can help protect your feet by wearing shoes at all times.