Proper foot care is essential for anyone with diabetes because you have a higher risk of developing issues with your feet. Diabetes decreases blood circulation to your feet and damages your nerves which can cause severe foot problems. Mild wounds hence become much harder to heal and resist infections. About one in five individuals with diabetes go to the hospital due to foot issues. According to Dr. Jeffrey E. McAlister, a small cut or a wrinkle in your socks can develop into a devastating problem such as amputation. However, if you take care of your feet daily, you can prevent most of these problems. Here is a look at what you can do to keep your feet healthy.
Wash and Dry Your Feet Daily
Maintain your feet clean by washing them daily. However, avoid soaking the feet for a long time. Use warm water and mild soaps, and dry your feet by patting your skin dry instead of rubbing it. After washing, apply petroleum jelly or lotion on your feet to prevent cracking. Don’t apply the jelly between your toes, as it can cause infection. Apply no medicated powder before putting on your shoes and socks to keep your feet dry.
Protect Your Feet with Socks and Shoes
Never stay barefoot. You don’t want to step on anything that could cut your foot. Always wear shoes that protect your feet from injury and weather conditions such as moisture and cold. Avoid sandals, flip-flops, or open-toed shoes that leave your heels or toes unprotected and vulnerable to infections and injury. Also, ensure the shoes are well-fitting, at least a half inch longer than your big toe, and sufficiently wide. When it comes to socks, always change your socks daily but avoid tight socks. You can consider wearing diabetic socks to help enhance blood flow to your feet, maintain your feet dry and offer a cushion for injury-free and healthy feet.
Work out regularly to keep your blood circulation healthy. Consider exercising for a minimum of thirty minutes daily. However, you should exercise carefully to avoid injury to your feet. Wear comfortable shoes, and don’t work out if you have open sores on your feet. Consult your doctor on the type of exercise that is best for you. Wear natural-fiber socks such as wool, cotton, or cotton wool.
Take Good Care of your Toenails
Trim your toenails after bathing and smoothen them with a nail file. However, avoid cutting into the corners of your toes. Consider bringing your own nail tools if you go for pedicures at a salon. Also, avoid using something sharp to clean underneath your toenails or eliminate calluses. You don’t want to get an accidental cut that could set in an infection.
Report Foot Infections and Injuries Immediately
As a diabetic patient, you should not wait to treat any minor foot issue. Report foot infections and injuries as soon as possible and follow your doctor’s guidelines. Don’t self-treat your calluses, corns, or other foot issues. Instead, it would be best if you went to your doctor to immediately treat any small infection or injury.
Ultimately, diabetes patients should undertake regular foot checkup. This is essential to detect potential problems early and prevent ulcers and other problems. Lack of proper foot care can result in foot ulcers which could cause an amputation. Good foot care will help decrease the chances of amputation.