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Caring for Diabetic Feet

Posted on January 6, 2018 | No Comments on Caring for Diabetic Feet

For many, the foot is of least concern. But for patients diagnosed with diabetes, the foot should be given utmost care. Diabetics are more vulnerable to foot problems and if left untreated may result in severe disorders like infection, gangrene (or tissue death), ulceration and even amputation. Diabetes can reduce blood flow to your feet and damage the nerves. This can result in a loss of feeling in the feet making patients vulnerable to injury without even knowing it. Also, blood sugar problems greatly affect the wound healing process. Thus, it is important to pay extra attention to your feet to prevent common ailments such as corns, calluses, ingrown toe nails, hammer toes, claw toes and arthritis.

Here’s a daily routine to guide you in keeping ,our feet at their best:

DOs

Wash your feet. Keep your feet clean. Wash your feet everyday with a mild soap and lukewarm water. Pat your skin dry with a soft towel. To prevent your feet from cracking, moisturize them with lotion but be careful not to get it between your toes.

Check them out. Examine your feet daily. Check the tops and soles of your feet. If you cannot see them, have someone else check them out for you or you may use a mirror. If you suffer from nerve damage, you may not even be aware that you have injured your feet. Inspect your feet for cuts, bruises, sores, swellings and discoloration. Rinse any cut with clean water and apply a plaster.

Cut toenails straight across. Toenails should be trimmed regularly. Cut them after bathing, when they are soft. Make sure to cut toenails straight across and not too close to the toe. Use an emery board to smoothen sharp areas and snags. Never cut into the sides of your nails as this may result in an ingrown toenail.

Exercise with care. Exercise improves circulation and helps you to reduce weight. Keep the blood flowing to your feet by walking, wiggling your toes or moving your ankles up and down. Wear appropriate athletic shoes when exercising. Don’t exercise when you have open sores as this may worsen the condition of your feet

Always wear socks and well-fitting shoes. Protect your feet by using the proper socks and shoes. Choosing the right footwear will allow your foot muscles to work properly.

  • Diabetic Socks. Always change into clean socks. Examine your socks for some damage before putting them on. Wear thick, soft diabetic socks that are made from fabrics that will draw perspiration away from your feet like those that are made of cotton acrylic blends. Replace socks that have holes or seem too tight.
  • Diabetic Shoes. Ask for your feet to be measured whenever you buy new shoes. Wearing properly fitted shoes reduce the risk of foot problems. Always check the inside of your shoes for foreign objects like small stones before putting them on.

DON”Ts

Remove corns and calluses by yourself. Don’t try to remove calluses, corns or warts by yourself. Never try to cut calluses with a razor blade or any other sharp instrument, the tendency is you may cut yourself and such wounds may lead to serious sores and infection. Avoid commercially available corn and callus removers because they usually contain an acid which can burn the skin.

Walk barefoot. Never go barefoot not even inside your home. Walking with your bare feet may put you at risk of getting cuts and infection.

Use your foot as a thermometer. Patients with diabetes may lack the sensitivity to feel heat, cold or pain in their feet and therefore must take precautions so as not to get burned. Check water temperature with your elbow and not with your foot. Avoid getting yourself near a fire or hot object.

Wear shoes with pointed toes and high heels. Avoid wearing shoes with high heels or pointed toes, as well as open-toed sandals and flip flops. Aside from not giving enough protection from injury, these types of footwear can put too much pressure on parts of the foot and contribute to bone and joint disorders.

Wear anything tight around the legs.
Avoid crossing your legs or using pantyhose, panty girdles and stockings that can constrict circulation to your legs and feet.

Smoke. Cigarette smoking can reduce blood flow to various parts of the body including your foot.

If your feet or toes are injured in any way, see your physician for immediate treatment. Have regular foot exams at least once a year to ensure your feet are healthy and at their best.

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