Diabetes can have several detrimental effects on their feet through nerve damage, circulation problems and infections. Sometimes, even minor problems like cracked or peeled skin, blisters, calluses etc may turn to a condition that may require a doctor?s intervention. Hence, a good diabetic footcare regimen is recommended to avert any foot complications that may arise due to high blood sugar.
Below are some easy to implement tips that can save a lot on future complications:
1. Examine your feet daily
This is to rule out possibilities of any cuts, sores or red spots, swelling, blisters, ingrown toenails, corns etc. This is because you may have foot problems but you may not feel them due to lack of sensation until the problem gets worse. If you?re physically unable to inspect your own feet, use a mirror (Inspection Mirror by Sammons Preston) or take someone?s help.
2. Wash and dry your feet daily
Doing so daily with warm water and mild soap to avoid any damage to your skin. Also, loss of sensation in your feet may not let you feel the temperature of the water and may lead to burns and blisters. Dry and wipe your feet between the toes to avoid any infection due to moisture left between the toes.
3. Do not let your skin turn dry.
Due to diabetes, the nerves that control the oil and moisture in your foot no longer work. This leads to dryness in the skin resulting in peeled and cracked skin. So, moisturize your feet (Eucerin Dry Skin Therapy Foot Creme Plus Intensive Repair, Neoteric Diabetic Advanced Healing Skin Cream) but do not apply anything between the toes. For cracked heels, apply foot repair creams/lotions (Scholl Cracked Heel Repair Cream, Feet Up Advanced Cracked Heel Repair Foot Cream).
4.Trim your toenails regularly to avoid any ulcers or foot sore.
- Trim your toenails after bath as they are soft then.
- Use a nail clipper and not a scissor to cut (Scholl Nail Clipper)
- Cut the nails straight and not in a curved fashion to help prevent ingrown toenails.
- Don?t cut the corners. Use a filer to smooth the edges (Vega Nail File with Trimmer)
- Do not cut the nails too short.
5.Do not walk bare feet, instead use proper footwear and socks.
Diabetics having neuropathy have a lot of foot sensitivity. Walking bare feet may not let you realize hot and cold temperatures, hurdles or sharps which may invite cuts etc.
- Choose comfortable, well-fitting shoes with plenty of room for toes (Diabetic Health Sandals and DAB D-CARE Shoes for Diabetics). Avoid high heels, pointed-toe and open-toe shoes.
- Wear clean, dry and lightly padded socks for extra foot protection (Diabetic full length Socks)
- Wear shoes & socks without seems to avoid any rubbing. Avoid tight stockings.
- Wear shoes made of material that can breathe like leather, canvas, or suede.
- Wear shoes that can be adjusted with laces, buckles, or velcro.
- Change your footwear every few hours to change the pressure points on your feet.
- For flat feet, bunions, hammertoes or change in shape, shoe inserts may be helpful.
6.?Exercise to keep the blood flowing to your feet.
It also helps to stabilize your blood?sugar?levels. Use following tips:
- Put your feet up when you are sitting.
- Wiggle your toes and do ankle movements for proper blood flow.
7. Remove dead skin from your feet.?
Thick patches of skin called corns or calluses can grow on the feet. Using a pumice stone every day will help keep calluses under control. Rub gently, only in one direction to avoid tearing the skin.
When to visit the doctor?
It is important to seek immediate medical attention for diabetic foot and leg problems incase of persistent pain, bleeding, wounds, drainage of pus from a wound, redness, fever, foot deformity, swelling and lasting numbness in the feet or legs.
You may require a podiatrist (specialist in diabetic foot care) for any foot complication. Sometimes, for limb-threatening or life-threatening infections, the patient may even require hospitalization.
?Diabetes-related foot problems can worsen very quickly and are difficult to treat. So, act promptly and follow a strict foot care routine”