When you have diabetes, it’s important to get your feet checked at least twice a year by a physician. Having diabetes can lead to circulatory and nervous system problems which can contribute to pain and foot deformities.
While abundant information exists regarding proper foot care, some of it can do more harm than good, since it does not take into consideration the special needs of people with diabetes.
We’ve compiled a list of diabetes-friendly, helpful tips for happy feet:
- Examine your feet daily. Make sure there are no cuts or red areas. Use a mirror to inspect the bottoms if you cannot easily see them.
- Don’t go barefoot.
- Wear shoes that fit well.
- Buy socks designed to keep your feet comfortable—with padded, minimal seams and not too tight.
- Don’t cut your toenails. Either file them yourself or have a podiatrist (foot doctor) trim them.
- If you have poor circulation, nerve damage and/or very thick toenails, regularly see a foot doctor. Also see a podiatrist when you have corns, calluses and/or bunions.
- When you get a foot cut or scratch, take care of it right away. Wash the affected area with mild soap and warm water, rinse and dry it thoroughly and apply a mild ointment to it. Cover the area with gauze and paper tape or a fabric bandage. Make sure to change the covering often. Call your health-care provider right away if the area does not heal, turns red or produces any drainage.
- Apply moisturizer to all parts of your feet except between the toes.
- Avoid very hot baths and showers, which can dry your skin. Also avoid prolonged feet soaking, advises Andrea Penney, RN, CDE, of Joslin Diabetes Center, because extended exposure to water can soften the feet and make the skin more prone to piercing.
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