Importance of Foot Care :
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.
Managing your diabetes and maintaining a healthy lifestyle helps keep your feet healthy.
This should include:
- regular medical exams, including foot checks at every visit and checking your ABCs (A1c, blood pressure, and cholesterol)
- monitoring your blood sugar daily
- regular exercise
- eating a balanced diet rich in fruits and vegetables
Signs and symptoms of foot problems:
- It’s important to recognize early warning signs of foot problems, such as:
- burning, tingling, or painful feet
- loss of sensation to heat, cold, or touch
- changes to the color or shape of your feet
- loss of hair on the toes, feet, and lower legs
- thickening and yellowing of the toenails
- onset of red spots, blisters, sores, ulcers, infected corns, or ingrown toenails
You can help prevent serious foot problems by following a good foot care regimen
Daily foot care :
- Here are a few foot care habits you can adopt and try to do every day
- 1. Inspect your feet
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, cuts, blisters, or bruises.
- 2. Wash your feet
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.
- 3. Dry 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.
- 4. Moisturize dry skin
If the skin on your feet feels rough or dry, use lotion or oil. Do not use lotion between your toes.
Healthy foot habits :
Following good foot care habits will go a long way toward keeping your feet healthy.
Here are a few helpful tips:
- Antiseptic solutions can burn your skin. Never use them on your feet without your doctor’s approval.
- Never use a heating pad, hot water bottle, or electric blanket on your feet.
- Avoid walking barefoot. Most people know to avoid hot pavement or sandy beaches, but even walking barefoot around the house can cause sores or injuries that can get infected.
- Protect your feet from heat and cold.
- Never attempt to remove corns, calluses, warts, or other foot lesions yourself. Don’t use chemical wart removers, razor blades, corn plasters, or liquid corn or callus removers. See your doctor or podiatrist.
- Don’t sit with your legs crossed or stand in one position for long periods of time.
Footwear: Shoes and socks
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.
- Choose comfortable, well-fitting shoes with plenty of room, especially in the toe box. Never buy tight shoes hoping they will stretch
- Do not wear shoes made out of plastic or other materials that do not breathe. Choose leather, canvas, or suede
- Avoid thong sandals, flip-flops, pointed-toe and open-toe shoes, and very high heels
- Wear shoes that can be adjusted with laces, buckles, or Velcro
- Inspect the inside of your shoes every day for tears or bumps that may cause pressure or irritation
- If you have nerve damage, give your feet a break or change shoes after five hours to change the pressure points on different areas of your feet
- If you experience repeated problems with your feet, ask your doctor if special shoes would help.
- Socks can provide an extra layer of soft protection between your foot and your shoe
- Wear clean, dry socks, or non-binding pantyhose. Avoid socks or hosiery with seams that can cause additional pressure points or are too tight on the leg.
- Wear socks to bed if your feet are cold