Foot care for diabetes

Foot Care Is Essential if You Have Diabetes

If you have been recently diagnosed with diabetes, there is a lot of new information to absorb and lifestyle changes your doctors may be asking you to make. It can be overwhelming! After diet changes, exercise, eye checks, and heart health, the last thing on your mind may be foot care. However, knowing some simple information about how diabetes can affect your feet can help prevent many problems. Try to establish good foot care habits now, so that if things change, you are aware of them.

Start with a Daily Foot Check

Diabetes can cause numbness in the feet. This numbness can happen slowly, so you don’t notice it. Because of this possibility, a good habit to form is visually inspecting your feet every day – don’t trust that you will feel pain if there is a problem. If you can’t see the bottoms of your own feet, place a mirror on the floor, so the bottoms of your feet are reflected up to your eyes. Or, recruit a loved one to inspect your feet. You are looking for changes to the skin – cuts or scrapes, especially if they aren’t healing; blisters; open wounds; redness, swelling, pus or bleeding; callus.

5 More Foot Care Tips

  1. With your daily foot check, apply a moisturizing lotion to the top and bottom of each foot, not in between the toes (it gets too moist).
  2. Avoid foot soaks; shower and dry in between your toes instead. Water should be warm, but never hot.
  3. Never walk barefoot, even at home or on the beach. Athletic shoes or firm-soled slippers are preferred to prevent stepping on something or getting a cut.
  4. Cut your toenails straight across and file rough edges – avoid bathroom ‘surgery’ for in growing nails, corns or callus.
  5. Have your feet checked at least once a year. A podiatrist can do this, but recruit your other physicians as well. If you are seeing your primary care doctor – take your shoes off, without waiting to be asked! If your shoes are off, they can easily see if anything needs attention.

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May 19, 2017 | by Sarah Burns DPM, FACFAS