If you have diabetes you are more likely to have foot problems. Diabetes can damage the nerves. This, in turn, can make you less able to feel injury or pressure on the skin of your foot. You may not notice a foot injury until severe damage or infection.
Diabetes changes the body's ability to fight infections. The damage to the blood vessels because of diabetes results in less blood and oxygen that reaches your feet. Because of this, small sores or wounds in the skin may become sores deeper in the skin. The affected leg amputation may be required if these skin ulcers do not improve, get larger, or go deeper into the skin.
If you have diabetes, you should:
Improve control of your blood sugar.
Get an exam of the foot by your health care provider at least once a year and learn whether you have nerve damage.
Check and take care of your feet every day, especially if you already have nerve damage or blood vessel disease or current foot problems. Follow the instructions below.
DAILY CARE ROUTINE
Check your feet and toes every day. Look carefully at the top, sides, soles, heels, and between toes.
Wash your feet and toes every day with lukewarm water and mild soap. Strong soaps may damage the skin.
Test the water temperature with your fingers or elbows before putting your feet in warm or hot water. Because of your diabetes, you may not be able to detect if the water is too hot. Burns can occur easily.
Gently and thoroughly dry the feet, especially between the toes. Infections can develop in moist areas.
Your feet may get dry and crack, possibly causing an infection. After bathing the feet, soften dry skin with lotion, petroleum jelly, lanolin or oil. Do not apply lotion between the toes if you have sores there.
Ask your doctor if it is okay to cut your toenails. If so, check with your health care provider to show you the safest way. If the nails are not trimmed correctly, you can get a sore or ulcer of the foot.
Soak your feet in warm water to soften the nails before cutting.
Cut the nail straight across, because curved nails are more prone to become incarnate.
Avoid sitting with legs crossed or standing in one position for long periods of time.
If you smoke, stop. Which decreases blood flow to the feet.
TIPS ON SHOES AND SOCKS
Wear shoes at all times to protect your feet from injuries. Otherwise, if you have poor vision and less ability to feel pain, you may not notice minor cuts or bumps.
Check the inside of your shoes for rough areas or torn pieces that can cause excess pressure or irritation.
If you have nerve damage in the feet, change or temporarily remove your shoes after 5 hours of wearing them during the day. This changes the pressure points during the course of the day. Diabetes Foot Care
The type of shoes you wear when you have diabetes it is important to:
- Wear comfortable clothing, comfortable shoes that have a lot of space in them. Never buy shoes that do not fit properly, hoping the shoes will stretch with time. Damage to nerves may prevent you to be able to feel the pressure of the shoes maladjusted. It is possible that you need a special shoe to fit your foot.
- Wear shoes made of canvas ??leather, or suede. Do not use shoes made of plastic or other material that does not breathe. Do not use flip flops.
- Wear shoes that you can easily adjust. They should have laces, velcro or buckles.
- Do not wear shoes with closed toe or open, such as high-heeled shoes, flip-flops or sandals.
- Socks can provide an extra layer of protection between the shoe and the foot.
- Use clean socks and dry socks or non-mandatory every day.
- Do NOT wear stockings with seams that can cause pressure points.
- Wear socks to bed if feet are cold. In cold weather, wear warm socks and limit your exposure to the cold to prevent freezing .
Diabetes Foot Care
MORE USEFUL TIPS
- Do not use antiseptic solutions on your feet because these can burn and injure the skin.
- Do not apply a heating pad or hot water bag at the feet. Avoid hot pavement or hot sand.
- Remove shoes and socks during visits to your health care provider. This is a reminder that it is possible that you may need a foot exam.
- Do not treat corns and calluses yourself with the counter remedies. Make an appointment with a podiatrist to treat foot problems.
- If obesity prevents you from being physically able to inspect your feet, ask a nurse, family member, neighbor, or a visit to carry out this important inspection.
- Ulcerations or other changes to your doctor immediately. Report all blisters, bruises, wounds, sores or areas of redness.