Diabetes is a chronic disease that affects millions of people around the world. When not properly controlled, diabetes can cause various complications, including nerve damage that can result in the loss of sensation in your feet, making it harder to detect injuries, cuts or blisters. Additionally, diabetes can reduce blood flow to your feet, which can make it difficult to heal injuries or fight infections. Considering these complications, it is important to take proper care of your feet if you have diabetes. In this article, we will highlight some guidelines and tips for diabetic foot care that can help prevent foot problems.
Inspect Your Feet Daily
One of the most important things you can do to take care of your feet is to inspect them every day. Check for blisters, cuts, redness, swelling, or nail problems. Use a mirror to examine the bottom of your feet if needed. Call your doctor if you notice anything unusual or if you have trouble examining your own feet.
Wash Your Feet Regularly
Wash your feet daily to keep them clean and healthy. Use lukewarm water, as hot water can damage your skin. Avoid soaking your feet for too long, as this can dry out your skin. Use a soft washcloth or a sponge to gently wash your feet. Dry them carefully, especially between your toes, as moisture can lead to fungal infections.
Moisturize Your Feet
After washing and drying your feet, apply a moisturizer to prevent dry skin, but do not apply it between your toes. Moisture can encourage the growth of fungi and bacteria, which can lead to infections. Keep in mind that, even though moisturizing your feet is good, it is important to choose a moisturizer that does not contain irritating or allergenic ingredients.
Cut Your Nails Carefully
Trim your toenails carefully and regularly, and file the edges. Cut them straight across, rather than in a curve, to prevent ingrown toenails. Do not cut your nails too short, as this can cause damage to the surrounding skin. If you have difficulty cutting your own nails, consult your podiatrist.
Treat Foot Problems Properly
If you have corns or calluses, consult your podiatrist, rather than attempting to remove them yourself. Do not use medicated pads, as they can irritate your skin. Always wear shoes that fit properly and avoid wearing tight, ill-fitting shoes or socks, as they can cause discomfort and foot problems.
Protect Your Feet
Protect your feet from injury by wearing shoes or slippers inside and outside your home. Avoid walking barefoot, even indoors. Choose shoes that fit properly and provide adequate support, and check the inside of your shoes for foreign objects, such as rocks or pebbles, before putting them on. Also, wear socks to bed if your feet get cold at night.
Control Your Diabetes
Finally, managing your diabetes is key to preventing foot problems. Keep your blood sugar levels under control by taking your medications as prescribed, eating a healthy diet, and staying active. Avoid smoking, as it can reduce blood flow to your feet and increase the risk of foot problems.
In conclusion, taking proper care of your feet is essential if you have diabetes. By following these guidelines and tips, you can prevent foot problems and maintain healthy feet. However, if you notice any problems with your feet, or if you have any concerns about diabetic foot care, don’t hesitate to consult your podiatrist. Dr Gilbert Huang DPM is a foot and ankle specialist who can help prevent and treat foot problems in people with diabetes, so schedule an appointment with him today. Remember, taking care of your feet is an investment in your overall health and well-being.