What Is Diabetic Foot Care?
Proper foot care is vital to people with diabetes. High levels of blood sugar can reduce blood flow, which make it harder to heal from injuries and infections. Diabetes can also lead to pain or numbness in the feet due to nerve damage. Any loss of sensation can lead to foot problems when you do not feel an abrasion or blister. Wounds that do not heal may you put you at risk for amputation. Because of these problems, you may not notice a foreign object in your shoe. As a result you could develop a blister or a sore. This could lead to an infection or a non-healing wound that could put you at risk for an amputation.
The following diabetic foot care guidelines may help prevent serious foot problems that could result in the loss of a toe or foot.
- Inspect your feet everyday for cuts, blisters, redness, swelling, or nail problems. A magnifying hand mirror should be used to check the bottom of your feet. Call our office to schedule an appointment if you notice anything.
- Wash your feet daily in lukewarm water to keep them clean. Use only lukewarm water, never hot water. Use a sponge or soft washcloth. Pat dry and be careful drying between the toes.
- Moisturize your feet every day to prevent itching and cracking. Avoid the area between your toes to help deter fungal infections.
- Put on a clean pair or dry socks every day. Avoid socks with tight elastic as they restrict circulation). Thick or bulky socks can fit poorly and may irritate your skin.
- If your feet get cold at night, wear socks to bed. Do not use a heating pad.
- Check inside your shoes before putting them on. Your feet may not be able to feel a pebble or other object that may cause irritation or injury.
- Wear proper shoes for the weather. It is important to keep you feet warm and dry. Wear rain boots or winter boots depending on the season.
- Do not walk barefoot, even around the house. You might cut or scratch your foot. Wear slippers or shoes to protect your feet.
- Keep your nails trimmed. Toenails should be cut straight across and then filed on the edges. Be careful not to cut the nail too short, as that may lead to ingrown toenails.
- Do not use medicated corn pads or attempt to trim corns or calluses at home. Visit your podiatrist for appropriate treatment.
- Control your diabetes. Check your blood sugar levels to keep diabetes under control.
- Do not smoke. Smoking will restrict blood flow in your feet.
If you have foot and ankle problems due to diabetes and want to prevent more serious conditions, give us a call at one of our 5 local podiatry offices in Charlotte, Concord and Harrisburg today for more information or to schedule an appointment.