After a diabetes diagnosis, you may feel overwhelmed by all the changes you have to make. For diabetics, foot care is a top priority because of the possible nerve damage you can experience. The following is a list of 10 tips to follow for diabetic foot care to help you reduce your risk of foot complications.
- Starting today, check your feet daily for cuts, sores, swelling, ingrown toenails, or toenail infections.
- Make foot hygiene a priority, making sure to wash your feet every day. Use soap and warm water and make sure to allow feet to dry thoroughly before putting socks or shoes on.
- If you have diabetic neuropathy, wear socks and shoes at all times. This will help prevent accidental injury that may go unnoticed. You may also need orthotic shoes to keep your feet balanced and protected.
- Be gentle with your feet. Smooth any corns and calluses gently, and be sure not to cut your toenails too short. If you are unsure about safety, you can have our podiatrist help you with that.
- Moisturize the tops and bottoms of your feet to prevent dry, cracked skin. Do not put lotion in between toes as that can lead to other skin problems.
- If you have lost feeling in your feet, be careful of temperature extremes. Your feet can get too hot or too cold without you realizing it. Be careful when you get in the tub and don’t forget sunscreen on your feet if you’re barefoot in the sun.
- Chances are, you may experience poor circulation in your legs and feet. Try to keep your feet engaged whenever you can remember, especially when you are sitting or laying down. This will keep your blood circulating.
- Eat healthy and participate in regular physical activity. This helps your body use your blood sugar and insulin properly. You will generally feel better if you keep your blood sugar levels stable.
- Manage your diabetes well. If you have diabetes medication, make sure to keep on schedule and monitor your blood sugar levels. The more you let your blood sugar levels get too high, the higher the chances of complications, including nerve damage in your feet.
- Schedule your annual podiatry exam. If you haven’t already, it’s important to get regular podiatric exams, especially if you have diabetes. Complications with your feet can happen gradually, but our podiatrist can help you manage foot health sooner, rather than later.
Have you been diagnosed with diabetes and have diabetic neuropathy? You may want to make an appointment with our podiatrists at The Podiatry Group before you head out on your trip. Our foot doctors, Dr. Mark E. Reiner, Dr. Michael A. Haughey, Dr. William G. Coates, and Dr. Erik D. Rosenlof can perform a thorough assessment at our Jonesboro, AR office to treat your feet and ankles and keep them strong.