Diabetic Foot Care
Medically Edited and Reviewed by Dr. Erin Zinkhan MD, BSBE
According to the American Diabetes Association, an estimated one in five people with diabetes seek medical help for foot problems. A person who has diabetes is more susceptible to foot problems because diabetes damages the nerves and reduces blood flow to the feet. These changes make it harder for your body to heal an injury or cure an infection.
Proper foot care is essential for people who have diabetes. Knowing the steps to keeping your feet healthy will help to avoid serious foot problems.
Keeping your feet clean is a simple routine, which everyone should follow. Keep your feet clean by washing them every day. Keeping your feet clean will reduce the chances of getting an infection in your feet. Carefully dry the gaps between your toes to remove moisture.
Many people forget that our feet need as much moisture as the rest of our body. Apply a thin layer of lotion to the top and bottom of your feet but not between your toes. Just a few moments of diabetic skin care can keep your feet comfortable and healthy.
2. Don't soak your feet
Soaking your feet may feel good during a pedicure, but soaking your feet for prolonged periods of time can dry out your skin and cause cracks in your feet. Cracks can allow harmful bacteria to take root and can increase the risk of harmful foot infections. To reduce stress and relax your foot muscles, soak your feet in clean warm water for a short time only.
3. Regular blood flow
Perform some small foot exercises such as wiggling or rotating the ankle for five minutes to improve blood circulation in your feet. While sitting, put your feet up instead of crossing your legs or letting them hang.
4. Trim your toenails with caution
Having trimmed and clean toenails is a must, so always use clean nail cutters when cutting your nails. Cut the nails straight across to avoid ingrown nails. If you can't safely cut or trim your own toenails, ask for help.
5. Keep your feet away from heat
Diabetes damages the nerves in your feet that sense pain. Your feet may not feel the pain from a burn. Avoid contact with heaters, electric blankets, hot water bottles, or other items which may burn your feet.
6. Wear proper shoes
Correct diabetic foot wear is necessary for everyone with diabetes. Shoes that are the right size and are made of comfortable material will decrease the chance of developing sores or ulcers on the feet. Avoid walking barefoot, and wear shoes that are comfortable for you.
To keep your feet healthy, you should wear diabetic socks. There are socks that are specifically designed for people with diabetes. They are made from acrylic fibers and are free of dyes that might cause irritation. Acrylic fabric is better than cotton at keeping excess moisture away from the skin.
8.Check your feet daily
nspect your feet daily. By inspecting your feet daily, you will be able to find any abnormalities before they become a problem.
9.Check with the doctor
The best way to avoid a health complication is to prevent it from happening in the first place. Follow your doctor's recommendations. Keep your blood sugar within the normal range. If you notice any changes with your feet, notify your doctor immediately.
The best way to lead a healthy life is by knowing how to take care of yourself. Diabetes can be a significant health problem, but taking care of your diabetes will help you live a full and healthy life. Proper foot care is essential for people with diabetes. By following these recommendations, you can help your feet stay happy and healthy.