Foot Care in Diabetes
by MedPlus Team, September 7, 2017
Diabetes damages the nerves and blood vessels in many areas of the body including the feet. This can mean a person’s feet do not get enough blood and oxygen, and hence wounds tend to heal more slowly and get worse faster. Additionally, nerve damage leads to reduced sensation, making one more prone to injury, while less likely to recognize it immediately. Feet require special attention and daily foot care is essential to avoid serious issues such as vascular disease and injury.
Tips for foot care:
Check your feet every day: Check your feet regularly. Daily care can prevent serious problems from occurring in the first place. Carefully check your nails, between your toes and the entire bottom surface of your feet. If you notice any cuts, blisters, redness, swelling, ingrown nail and ulcer on the bottom of the feet seek medical help immediately.
Clean your feet daily:
Make sure to wash your feet daily with mild soap and water thoroughly, particularly between your toes. After washing, dry your feet thoroughly. Don’t use hot water bottles, hot foot soaks, heating pads or electric blankets because you may burn your feet without realizing it.
Keep your skin smooth and soft:
Use moisturizing cream or lotion to keep your skin soft and smooth. Preferably apply a lotion that your doctor has approved to prevent cracking. Avoid applying lotion or cream between your toes, because this might cause an infection.
Take care of your nails:
Cut your toenails regularly and frequently. Cut them straight across and don’t trim them too short.
Protect your feet with appropriate footwear:
Poorly fitting shoes that do not support the foot can lead to sores, blisters, calluses, or ulcers. Always wear comfortable diabetic shoes or slippers with softer soles to avoid injuring your feet. Never walk barefoot especially outside of the home. Check your shoes daily for wear and tear and shake them out to remove any loose objects. Wear comfortable-fitting socks.
Keep the blood flowing to your feet:
Prolonged sitting can cause stasis and blood circulation problems. So moving frequently and exercising regularly is an excellent way of improving health. Don’t cross your legs for long periods of time.
Watch your diabetes:
One can minimize the complications of diabetes by keeping the blood sugars under strict control. Tight blood sugar control also reduces the chances of infection and the duration of treatment.