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Foot Care Tips for Diabetics

Foot Care Tips for Diabetics

 When you have diabetes, it is important to take special care of your feet. Otherwise, serious health problems can occur, including the possibility of toe, foot, or leg amputation as a result of poor circulation. It is essential to understand the connection between diabetes and foot care. Diabetes can severely damage your nerves and reduce blood flow to your fee, putting someone with diabetes more at risk for developing foot problems. The American Diabetes Association estimates that one in five people with diabetes who seek hospital care do so for problems with their feet. However, most serious health problems associated with diabetes can be prevented with the proper knowledge of caring for feet.

 Here are some helpful tips on how to care for your feet if you have diabetes:

 Wash and Dry Feet Daily

  * Use warm water with a soft sponge or washcloth

  * Use mild soap

  * Dry skin by patting thoroughly with a soft towel

  * To avoid fungal infections and prevent itching or cracking after washing, moisturize the tops and bottoms of your feet with lotion while avoiding in skin in between toes
 Take Care of Toenails

  * After washing, cut toenails while they are soft

  * Cut toenails straight across, but not too short to prevent ingrown toenails

  * After trimming toenails, smooth with a nail file or emery board

  * Avoid cutting into the corners of toes

 Examine Feet Daily

  * Check the tops and bottoms of your feet

  * Look for cuts, scratches, blisters, or other sores

  * Check for dry, cracked skin

  * Check for ingrown toenails, corns, or calluses

  * Take note of increased warmth, as well as any redness, tenderness, or swelling

  * Rather than popping blisters, apply a bandage to the area and change shoes

  * Do not cut corns or calluses. Consult your doctor on how to safely smooth any sores

 Wear Socks and Shoes

  * Even when indoors, never go barefoot to avoid any potential scratches or cuts. Always protect your feet by wearing shoes or hard-soled footwear

  * Avoid open-toed shoes and sandals as these expose your feet and increase risks of injuries and infections
  * Inspect shoes prior to wearing them, shaking out any objects that may be within them

  * Gradually break new shoes in and avoid wearing them for a prolonged period of time

  * Avoid wearing shoes with high heels or pointed toes to prevent ulcer-causing pressure

  * Always keep your feet warm and dry, particularly in colder weather conditions

  * Wear clean, soft socks made of natural fibers

  * Avoid socks with tight elastic bands since these restrict circulation

 General Foot Care Tips for Diabetics

  * Never use a heating pad or hot water bottle on your feet

  * Report foot injuries and infections to your health care provider immediately

  * Refrain from crossing your legs

  * Check water temperature with your elbow instead of your foot

  * Refrain from smoking as this restricts blood flow in your feet

 When to See Your Doctor

 Diabetics should schedule annual appointments to have thorough foot examinations by a podiatrist. Additionally, consult your doctor if you experience any of the following issues with your feet:

  * Ingrown toenails

  * Redness

  * Blackening of skin

  * Bunions

  * Sores or wounds

  * Athlete’s foot

  * Hammertoes

  * Numbness or pain

  * Calluses

  * Infection

 Special Care for High-Risk Conditions

 If you have any high-risk conditions, there are specific things you should do to keep your feet healthy.

  * If you have calluses or corns, do not “self-treat.” Instead, consult a podiatrist

  * Treat minor skin conditions such as dry skin or athlete’s foot immediately to keep them from worsening

  * If you have increased pressure on the soles of your feet or neuropathy, wear well-cushioned shoes

  * If you have lost any sensation in your feet, be sure to carefully inspect them often to identify any problems early

  * Get a complete foot examination every 3 to 6 months to prevent further problems from occurring

 Common Ailments as You Age with Type 1 Diabetes


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