5 Tips for Giving Yourself A Diabetic Foot Exam
Over 29 million Americans have diabetes. Those with diabetes must be sure to take care of their health and watch for any complications.
One concern for those living with diabetes is complications with their feet. Diabetes can lead to nerve damage leaving one unable to feel hot or cold. This lack of sensitivity can lead to injuries very easily.
This is why conducting a diabetic foot exam is crucial.
Are you living with diabetes and trying to best take care of yourself? Read below for five tips for giving yourself a proper foot exam!
1. Find a Comfortable Position for Giving Yourself a Diabetic Foot Exam
In order to properly assess your feet, you need to get in a comfortable and stable position. If you have poor flexibility or excess belly weight, you may have difficulty seeing your feet. If this is the case, ask a family member or caretaker for help.
Try sitting on a bed or toilet for stability. Make sure there will be room in front of you to pull your leg up on top of the other one. If you recently showered, be sure to completely dry your feet before beginning the exam.
2. First Focus on the Bottom
Gently move your ankle so the bottom of your foot is visible. If you are unable to achieve this position, try using a mirror.
Checking these areas will help avoid many foot complications possible with diabetes.
Scan the balls of your feet for bumps or rough texture. Check the soles for bumps and lumps which could signal bone or muscle problems. Also be sure to check your heels. Keep a look out for dry cracked skin.
Be sure to moisturize with lotion. Even small cracks can become infected.
3. Get Touchy Feely
During your diabetic foot exam, make sure to feel your entire foot. Pay attention for any drastic temperature differences or bumps. There are foot infrared thermometers that can be helpful in detecting circulation issues you may be unable to see.
Make sure to note any tenderness or pain you notice here. There are many options for dealing with diabetic foot pain.
4. Use your Eyes
Make sure to a visual inspection of your feet. Again, note any bumps or areas that look abnormal. Keep an eye on any scabs or rough textures.
Decreased blood flow can make skin look thin or shiny so be sure to note any overall skin appearance changes.
5. Pay Attention to Toes
Make sure your toenails are a normal color. Spread your toes with your fingers to check in between for any areas or red skin or ingrown toenails.
If you haven’t had previous complications, try doing an exam weekly. But if you have a history of complications, be sure to do an exam every day. This will help you keep a close eye on any issues.
Follow these five tips and you will be on your way to your own diabetic foot exam. Still have questions or concerns? Call our office +1-626-385-3338 or if you prefer to reach out to us via email, we will be happy to help!