5 Basic Foot Care Essentials for Diabetics
Around 9% of the population has diabetes. One possible complication of diabetes is nerve damage in your feet. This leaves one very susceptible to a foot injury.
Because having diabetes can also lead to struggles fighting off infections, it is important to take proper preventative measures.
Do you have diabetes and want to make sure you avoid potential food injuries? Read below for five basic foot care essentials everyone should know.
1. Skin Checks
This is one of the easiest steps you can take. Try to touch and inspect your feet every day. Keep an eye out for anything out of the ordinary. This includes cuts, swelling, or bruises.
Also, make note of any areas that are tender. Don’t forget the sides and in between your toes.
If you have poor eyesight or flexibility that prevents you from checking your own feet, ask a loved one to help you.
Taking a few minutes each day to inspect your feet will help catch any problem early on.
2. Control Your Sugar
Another preventative aspect of basic foot care includes paying attention to your sugar levels. Work to stay within guidelines you have established with your doctor.
To accomplish this, be sure to eat according to your meal plan and pay lots of attention to carbohydrates. Always be consistent with any medication you take as part of managing your diabetes.
Another option for keeping your sugar in check is to do light non-impact exercise. This can be anything from walking and stretching to playing tennis or taking a dance class.
3. Always Wear Shoes
Managing diabetes doesn’t have to be stressful. There are many products available to help handle pain and prevent serious complications.
An important habit to get into is to never go barefoot. This can be hard during warm summer months, but simple injuries can become severe when you have diabetes.
Sometimes a stubbed toe can lead to ulcers. Keep slippers by your bed and always wear sturdy shoes when going outside. Avoid sandals and open-toe shoes.
You should also wear a clean pair of socks each day.
4. Wash and Dry Correctly
In order to keep your feet in good shape, you must properly wash and clean them. Doing this helps get rid of germs that may cause an infection.
Wash both your feet every day with soap. Try not to use hot water because it can damage the skin on your feet. If you have nerve damage in your feet, check the water temperature with your hand.
Gently remove any calluses with a pumice stone.
When finished, dry your feet completely. Rub some lotion to keep the skin soft.
5. Cut Toenails Straight Across
While this tip applies to everyone, it is especially important to those with diabetes. Always cut your toenails straight across. This helps avoid painful ingrown toenails.
Avoid cutting your toenails too short. If you have trouble cutting your own toenails, ask a loved one for help.
Get Started with Basic Foot Care
With these five tips, you are ready to start taking excellent care of your feet. Preventative care will help you avoid serious complications down the road.
If you are ready to get a better handle on your foot care or have some questions, schedule an appointment with us today.