Diabetic foot care tips for your feet are there for all to see. The link between diabetes and your feet is there for all to see. If you have diabetes, then there’s a chance you’ll be faced with nerve damage that will take away all feeling in your feet. You could also end up in a situation where the blood supply to your feet is reduced, which makes it harder to feel things and make it difficult to heal from any cuts or foot injuries.
The problems are endless, and they can sometimes result in amputations.
Understandably, this might scare you. But, the good news is that you can prevent a whole host of diabetes-related foot problems. All you have to do is follow a diabetic foot care tips routine. Don’t worry; this doesn’t involve anything extreme or challenging. Most of the things are easy for you to do, and won’t cause any additional stress to your day.
With that in mind, feel free to read these diabetic foot care tips guidelines if you want to keep your feet healthy and avoid any issues:
ENSURE YOU MANAGE YOUR DIABETES
The first thing you need to do is manage your diabetes. If you aren’t keeping your blood sugar under control, then you’re asking for problems. Hopefully, your doctor has already provided you with advice on how you can keep your blood sugar within its target level. Do whatever you can to maintain this as it will help prevent any issues with your feet. Likewise, it can stop existing foot problems from getting worse.
It doesn’t matter how many of the other tips you follow, and if your diabetes isn’t under control, your feet will never be safe.
Shock horror; smoking is bad for you!
You already know this, but do you realize how bad smoking is when you have diabetes? Smoking drastically reduces your circulation, which restricts how blood flows around your body. Now, we already know that diabetes can cause blood flow issues for your feet, which will only compound the problem. When you combine smoking and diabetes, it puts your feet at risk of developing some serious issues.
So, if you smoke, then try to quit. If you don’t smoke, then make sure you carry on avoiding it! Try and avoid areas where people smoke too – second-hand smoke can still cause these problems for you.
CHECK YOUR FEET AT LEAST TWICE PER DAY
The most straightforward piece of diabetic foot care tips advice is to keep checking your feet. When you think about it, how often do you look at your feet? You may glance at them when you’re washing or putting your socks on, but do you look at them in detail?
Diabetes can cause foot health problems that get worse very fast. As such, you need to make sure you spot any changes as soon as possible. Checking your feet twice per day will help you do just that. Take a look at them when you get dressed in the morning, then again at night when you’re undressing.
Here are a few things to look for:
- Excessive swelling
- Issues with the nails
- Signs of blood
Even the tiniest of cuts can lead to severe consequences when you have diabetes. This is one of the reasons you need to keep checking your feet daily. When you spot anything untoward, contact your doctor. Also, seeing as you can lose feeling in your feet makes it easy for something to develop without you noticing. So, check them regularly – use a mirror if you can’t see under your feet.
WEAR APPROPRIATE FOOTWEAR
It’s incredible how many foot problems come from wearing shoes that don’t fit.
If your footwear is too loose, it can cause your feet to rub up against them, which leads to blisters or sores.
If your footwear is too tight, then this restricts blood flow in your feet, causing you to lose feeling in them.
Bearing both of these things in mind, it pays to get footwear that genuinely fits. You’ve probably not had your feet measured since you were a child, but it’s recommended you do this now. Make sure that your feet feel comfortable and are securely in place to prevent any friction. If you want further advice, then a podiatrist should be able to help. They can recommend specific footwear or give you insoles to make your shoes fit better.
WASH YOUR FEET EVERY DAY
You must wash your feet if you want to maintain an excellent diabetic foot care routine. Washing will do a few things that help prevent any foot health concerns.
For one, you help get rid of any bacteria or germs that might be lingering on your feet. So, this can stop any infections from starting. Secondly, you clean your feet and remove any dry sweat. When sweat dries, it can cause rashes or spots. Also, it’s known to contribute to dry skin. Thirdly, washing your feet can help improve circulation and increase blood flow in this area.
Now, washing your feet might seem straightforward, but you have some fundamental concerns about diabetes. So, here are my tips:
- Only use warm/lukewarm water – never hot. Hot water increases the risk of your feet getting hurt, but warm water will stimulate the blood flow.
- Use a soft sponge to wash your feet, never use anything abrasive. You can also use a cloth, which allows you to massage your feet and improve the blood flow.
- Don’t use a soap that’s full of chemicals and might damage your skin. Keep it fragrant-free and neutral.
- Always ensure you dry your feet thoroughly. Pat them dry instead of rubbing them. Rubbing your feet could damage the skin and cause issues.
WEAR SUITABLE SOCKS
In general, socks do an excellent job of keeping your feet warm and helping with circulation. However, some socks can be too tight or restrictive, creating an adverse effect. It’s always good to wear socks that have a good bit of padding or cushioning to protect your feet. Some socks have been specifically made for diabetic foot care tips. These socks give you the additional filling, and they don’t have elastic at the top.
Therefore, you get the protection you need, but you also help improve blood flow. The elastic part at the top of socks can sometimes dig into your ankles and cut off circulation to your feet. So, these socks help prevent that problem.
Always make sure you wear clean socks too. Dirty socks are full of bacteria and sweat, which will only increase your chances of developing infections or dry skin. You should also wear a clean pair to bed if you suffer from cold feet at night. This helps keep them safe and warm.
Don’t underestimate the power of a right foot moisturizer!
Moisturizing your feet will prevent dry skin problems. If you’ve ever had dry skin, then you know why it can be a big problem. Dry skin is prone to itching or cracking, which could potentially create severe issues for diabetic people. If you scratch your skin and damage the surface, then you might draw blood. The same goes for cracked skin; the cracks might be deep enough to bleed.
To avoid dealing with all of this, moisturize every day after washing your feet. Apply the moisturizer to your whole foot – but avoid the spaces between your toes. It’s a good idea to target some of the key problem areas such as your heels, under your big toe, and so on.
STAY ACTIVE & EAT HEALTHILY
Following an active lifestyle can help you take care of your feet. It’s been mentioned many times that diabetes restricts blood flow and can cause nerve damage. By being active, you do your best to improve your natural blood circulation. It’ll do far more useful than sitting on the sofa being inactive.
When you move around and walk, you’re encouraging your heart to pump more blood around your body. Plus, walking helps you keep your feet warm as well. You stimulate the blood flow and help retain the feeling in your feet.
You can also carry out exercises and stretches to try and prevent nerve problems. Some nerve issues can be due to shortened or weak muscles, so a regular exercise routine might help.
On the diet side of things, you will only improve your health if you eat well. A proper diet is essential for maintaining your blood sugar levels, which helps control your diabetes. As a result, it’s less likely to cause foot problems. Not only that, but you can eat things that are high in essential nutrients that help boost your skin. If you keep your skin healthy, then you reduce the chances of developing dry or cracked skin.
One thing you mustn’t do is overexert yourself. Don’t exercise too hard, or you could hurt your feet and create complications with your diabetes.
NEVER WALK AROUND BAREFOOT
Doing this when you don’t have diabetes is bad enough. Walking around, barefoot is merely unhygienic and risky. Think about all the things you could step on; even a soft carpet harbors germs and bacteria! There’s a reason we evolved to the point of inventing socks or slippers to put on our feet; walking barefoot isn’t right for you.
But, it’s particularly troublesome when you have diabetes. All it takes is one tiny stone to pierce your skin and lead to complications. Protect your feet at all costs; never walk barefoot.
DON’T SHAVE AWAY YOUR CALLUSES
Most people will develop calluses on some parts of their feet. These are areas of dry and thick skin that become very hard. Healthy people can treat these on their own. All it takes is something like a pumice stone to shave away the hard layer of skin.
However, it’s strongly advised you don’t attempt any home treatments when you have diabetes. It’s too risky as you could shave too far down and damage your skin. Moisturizing should help soften the skin and deal with them naturally. If you’re still having issues and want them taken care of, see your doctor or podiatrist. They can offer professional treatment that doesn’t damage your skin or put you at risk.
DON’T CUT YOUR NAILS TOO SHORT
Cutting your nails turns into a potentially dangerous task when you have diabetes. If you cut them too short, then you might end up with ingrown toenails. These are painful and problematic at the best of times, let alone when you have diabetes.
So, the first tip is only to trim your nails. Don’t take too much off, and you can cut them more frequently to prevent them from overgrowing.
Secondly, make sure you only cut them across in a straight line. Cutting corners can lead to the nail growing at strange angles – and it’s also more likely to result in you cutting your toes!
INSPECT YOUR FOOTWEAR
No matter what shoes you’re going to wear, always inspect them before you put them on. It’s easy for debris to fall into your shoe and settle there. When you have diabetes, you may lose some of the feelings in your feet. So, you won’t know if there’s a stone digging into your foot until you take it out and see a cut.
It takes a couple of seconds just to shake anything out of your shoe and ensure it’s safe, so do it!
GET REGULAR FOOT EXAMS
Lastly, it’s a smart idea to get regular foot exams from a qualified doctor. This is just to ensure that everything is how it should be. If any complications are found, then they can be handled before they get out of hand. Seeing your doctor a few times a year to accurately look at your feet will help keep them in the best condition possible.
DIABETIC FOOT CARE TIPS: A SUMMARY
To sum up, diabetes causes numerous complications in your feet. As a result, the slightest problem will be magnified. You must look after your feet and prevent any complications from occurring. The best way to do this is by following all the diabetic foot care tipstips outlined in this guide.
It’s not 100% guaranteed that you won’t see any foot complications when you follow this advice. It will certainly reduce the chances of them happening and help prevent the extreme case of amputation.
FURTHER REFERENCE: CHECK WEB MD ON Diabetic Foot Problems: Symptoms, Treatment, and Care