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If you have diabetes, you have probably already heard about the importance of paying attention to your feet. Diabetic foot care is vital to maintaining a healthy lifestyle, you should see a doctor regularly for foot care. Here is everything you need to know about foot care for diabetics.
Diabetic Foot Care Basics
Foot care for diabetics is an everyday activity. Check your feet every day for warning signs of injury or infection. Signs include soreness, redness, bruising, cuts, or blisters. Check all parts of the foot, including between the toes. Use a mirror to help you see if you have trouble bending over to take care of feet.
Washing is another important step in daily foot care for diabetics. Clean your feet in warm water with gentle soap. Anything too harsh could harm your skin and nerves. It is a good idea to check the temperature of the water with your hand or elbow before putting your feet in, as your condition may make it difficult to tell how hot the water is with your feet alone. Dry your feet completely with a towel once you have finished. Wet spots could lead to infection, so be sure to thoroughly dry both feet.
When cutting your toenails, be careful not to trim them too short. It is best to cut your toenails soon after washing your feet so that the nails are softer and easier to trim. If you have vision problems, can’t bend over to trim your toenails, or have especially hard or yellowed nails, leave the nail cutting to a diabetic foot care expert such as your Podiatrist.
Shoes and Foot Care for Diabetics
Proper footwear is very important when it comes to diabetic foot care. Loose, supportive shoes are best. Never wear shoes that are too tight or are made of a material that does not breathe well, such as plastic. It is especially important that your shoes are loose and boxy in the toe rather than narrow.
Wearing shoes all the time can help care for diabetic feet. Shoes keep your feet protected and safe from injury. If you wear shoes all day, switch them out every five hours or so to relieve pressure on the parts of your feet that the particular pair presses on. Socks can also help protect your feet. Make sure these aren’t too tight. White socks are preferable to other colors, as any drainage from blisters or wounds can be noticed easier on these materials, which will help provide quicker management.
What to Avoid in Care of Diabetic Foot
Never use a heating pad, electric blanket, or hot water bottle on your feet. This could easily lead to burns without you realizing it. Protecting your feet from extreme temperatures is vital for foot care for diabetics. Make sure your feet do not get too hot or cold. Wearing shoes all the time can help with this. Walking barefoot can lead to injury. Being barefoot outside, especially on pavement or sand, could lead to burns or infection.
If you notice any warts, corns, or calluses during your regular diabetic foot care routine, do not attempt to remove them yourself, including using over-the-counter wart creams and removers. Leave that to your doctor.
Move your feet around often to keep the blood flowing. Never cross your legs or ankles, and try to not stand still for long periods of time. Report any abnormalities to your Podiatrist in a timely manner.
Need diabetic foot care?
Diablo Foot and Ankle is your resource for foot care for diabetics. They can help keep you healthy, whether you need a routine checkup or have a concern about the care of diabetic feet. Call them today to schedule an appointment.