If you’re a diabetic, it is important that you take proper care of your feet. In fact, you must include diabetic foot care in your every day self-care routine.
Why is Foot Care so Important for Diabetics?
Diabetes is dangerous to your feet that even a small cut can cause severe outcomes. Lack of proper foot care often results to damage of the nerves or what is referred to as diabetic neuropathy. The nerve damage can take away the sensitivity in your feet that you may not even notice a wound or small cut. That is why you need to examine your foot daily before the wounds get infected and led to severe complications – like amputation or gangrene.
The diseases can lessen the flow of blood to the feet, making it harder to resist an infection or even heal an injury. Due to the challenges, you may not even note a foreign object in your foot wear, that could potentially cause a sore or blister that could put you to a risk of amputation if it doesn’t heal.
Diabetic Foot Check: Daily Foot Examination Checklist
Caring for diabetic feet involves examination of the top and bottom of your feet. You can check it yourself, use a mirror, or ask a friend to check it for you. Also, ensure that your feet get checked at every physician’s visit.
When performing your diabetes foot care, look for:
i.Cut or Scratches: If you find a cut or scratches, wash it using mild soap and water. Then, apply antibiotic creams that are recommended by your physician and apply sterile bandages to shield the cuts. In case you find that your cut is oozing, has redness, or has a foul-smelling discharge, contact your doctor straight away.
ii.Ulcers: Cuts or minor scrapes that heal gradually or sores from the badly-fitting footwear can be infected resulting to ulcers. To avoid foot ulcers, you need to treat cuts or scrapes right away. Consult your doctor about any foot sores that you have and ensure they’re treated right way.
iii.Dry Skin: There is need for proper care for diabetic feet. In case you find you have dry skin, use moisturizing soaps and best diabetic foot cream to keep your skin soft. Nonetheless, ensure that you don’t apply the lotion between the toes as moisture there can result to the growth of fungus. Skin and foot care for diabetics is a great topic that you need to research more to find healthy skin.
iv.Blisters: Feet and diabetes is an intertwined topic and blisters in your feet matters. It is suggested that you wear diabetic shoes that fit properly to avoid blisters from developing. Never break open blister as that increases your risk of infection. Simply clean the blister by applying an antibacterial cream and then wrap it with a bandage.
v.Cracking, red skin, and itching between the toes: The following foot challenges are signs of fungus and you must treat it immediately to avoid further infection. The doctor can recommend a cream or pill.
vi.Calluses/Corns: For corns and calluses, don’t try to remove or cut a callus or corn. We recommend that you consult with your doctor to recommend the best way to eradicate the corns.
vii.Plantar Warts: They are painful callus look-alikes caused by a virus and grow on the underside of the foot. Contact a doctor for management of your condition.
viii.Ingrown toenails: Ensure that you trim your toenails frequently cutting only across the top to prevent ingrown toenails. Toenail problems and diabetes is a vital issue as toenails cut into the skin, infection, and redness may occur. In case of ingrown toenail, see a doctor for its management.
ix.Yellowed/Discolored Toenails: If your nails are fragile and thick, it means you probable have a fungal nail disease. A doctor will recommend long-term prescription to treat the infection and enhance the appearance of your nails.
x. Redness, swelling, pain, or warmth: They’re signs of infection and inflammation. Visit a doctor immediately.
xi.Blue or Black Skin Color: Black feet diabetes indicates blood flow challenges. If your foot is blue, black, and cold, consider this as an emergency and see a doctor right away.
Call a Doctor if You Notice:
- The Swelling in the foot and ankle
- Changes in your skin color
- Changes in your skin temperature
- Pain in your legs
- Calluses or corns
- Open sores on your feet that are slow to heal and draining
- Toenails that are infected with fungus or have Ingrown toenails
- Persistent foot odor
- Dry cracks in the heel
How to take care of diabetic feet
To avoid serious foot challenges that could result in losing a foot, toe, or leg, follow these guidelines:
- Examine your Feet
Check your toes and feet, inspecting the tops, heels, soles, sides, and the location in between the toes. Contact your physician right away if you discover any cuts, redness, bruises, or sores.
- Wash your Feet
Ensure that you wash your feet using mild soap and warm water (lukewarm water). Harsh soaps and hot water can harm your skin. Examine the water temperature using your elbow or the fingers before placing your feet it as diabetes can make it hard to sense water temperature using your feet. Be gentle when washing your feet using a sponge or washcloth.
- Dry your Feet
Dry your feet well using a clean soft towel. The infections have a tendency to develop in moist areas. So, you need to ensure that you dry the area between the toes properly.
- Moisturize your dry skin
The skin of your feet can feel dry or rough. Use oil or lotion to moisturize your skin and never apply lotion between the toes.
- Wear Clean Socks
Always wear clean and dry socks. Ensure that you change your socks daily. You should ensure that you wear best diabetic socks that are specially designed for diabetics. The socks have additional cushioning and fibers that wick moisture to keep your feet healthy. Also, wear socks to bed so that your warm your feet so that they don’t get cold at night.
- Trim nails carefully (Weekly)
Ensure that you carefully cut your nails. Trim the nails straight across and file edges. You need to ensure that you don’t cut your nails too short as this could lead to ingrown toenails. In case you got fears about your nails, discuss with your doctor.
- Don’t Treat Calluses or Corns by Yourself
Avoid any form of “bathroom surgery” or medicated pads but instead visit a physician for suitable treatment.
- Never walk barefoot
Whether you’re indoor or walking in the garden, you should wear diabetic slippers. This will assist to keep your feet safe from any cut or scratch that you can get from stepping on something.
- Shake yourself and ensure no foreign object
Recall that your feet may not feel a pebble or other foreign object in your shoe and that is why it is necessary to inspect your shoes before you wear them on.
- Ensure that your Feet are Dry and Warm
Wear warm shoes and socks and never let them get wet in rain or snow.
- Quit smoking
It is hard to quit smoking but you must do it. Smoking restricts the flow of blood in your feet and this can result to foot challenges.
- Monitor your diabetes
The major method of avoiding foot problems is by controlling your level of blood sugar. In fact, if you manage it to a recommended level, you won’t be worried about the other foot care tips for diabetes.
- Use a diabetic foot massager
Diabetic causes circulation issues that can be well solved using the best foot massager for diabetics. Research has found out that a daily massage of about 10-15 minutes before you sleep can help increase circulation and overall health of your feet.
- Get periodic examination of your foot
It’s not all about how to take of your feet with diabetes and that is why you need the help of your podiatrist. Seeking your podiatrist can assist to prevent foot complications for diabetics.
- Antiseptic solutions that can burn or harm your skin. You should never apply them in your feet without getting an approval from your doctor.
- Never use an electric blanket, hot water bottle, or heating pad on your feet
- Avoid walking barefoot. Most people would ensure that they avoid sandy beaches or hot pavement but even walking barefoot even around the house can result to injuries.
- Protect your feet from cold and heat
- Don’t stand in one location or sit with your legs closed for long periods of time
- Avoid removing calluses, warts, corns, or any other foot wounds. See a doctor.
- Don’t soak your feet instead wash and dry them appropriately
Foot care for diabetics is an easy but very important procedure that you need not to ignore. The article has offered essential tips for diabetic foot care. We believe that proper care should always be taken to solve any foot challenge quickly to avoid complications such as neuropathy. Don’t get tired of checking your foot daily and let’s continue with the advocacy for healthy feet.
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