If you are managing diabetes, you may encounter issues with your legs and feet. These are two common complications that the disease can bring, putting you at a higher risk of getting bunions, ulcers, blisters, and corns.
If you have high blood sugar, this means that these minor alterations and injuries may become the gateway to potentially incapacitating infections.
Thankfully, there are several strategies that you can take, which will keep your feet in good condition, such as wearing specialized footwear and having your feet regularly examined. To find out more, here are eight smart tips for diabetic foot care.
Look After Your Feet
Only you will know your body inside out, so make sure that you get into the habit of inspecting your feet daily for any sores, cracked, or dry skin. If you have noticed a change in color, this could be another cause for concern that you must address.
Nerve damage is a complication that diabetes can bring. This might make it hard to spot if you have problems with your feet.
Choose Diabetes-Friendly Socks and Footwear
When it comes to finding suitable socks and footwear, those living with diabetes will need to pay more attention to detail. Pick shoes that have more depth in the toe box, as well as better coverage of both top and bottom.
You should choose soft, padded socks made from a material that controls moisture.
Try Low-Impact Exercise
People who have diabetes can still benefit enormously from regular exercise. While physical activity for diabetes is not a one-size-fits all situation, you should be mindful that lots of fitness classes may include jumping, bouncing, and leaping, which may not be wise for your feet.
It’s best to look into activities like swimming and walking that don’t put as much pressure on your feet. No matter what activity you pick, make sure that you have suitable footwear to get the most out of the experience and take things slow and steady. If you try and perform a high-intensity workout, your feet will suffer as a result.
Avoid Being Barefoot
While you should invest in footwear that provides excellent coverage to protect your feet outside, if you’re the type of person who roams around the house with no footwear or socks on, you will be putting your feet at risk.
Scrapes, small cuts and penetration by glass shards and splinters can easily occur and cause serious damage to your feet. It’s advisable to wear shoes both inside and outside the house.
During your personal hygiene routine, make sure that you factor in drying your feet. The space that is between your toes is incredibly airtight and can get moist and break down, resulting in infection.
To stop this, you should remove sweaty or wet shoes or socks immediately and thoroughly towel in between each toe. While you’re able to use moisturizer to stop cracked or dry skin, don’t put it between your toes.
See a Podiatrist
If you have cracks or sores on your feet that you don’t believe to be a problem, it’s still best to get yourself checked out by a podiatrist. Harford Lower Extremity Specialists are a podiatric medical facility based in Bel Air, Maryland.
The team is dedicated to helping patients who are suffering from foot pain and diabetic-related conditions. When you go for your first visit, you will get an accurate diagnosis of your problem and possible treatment options.
All diabetic patients should try to see a podiatrist at least once a year. This will ensure any problems are picked up quickly, before they cause long-term, more serious issues.
We all know how damaging smoking is for our mind and body. The dangers of smoking affect you from your head to your feet, with the chemicals in cigarette smoke damaging and constricting your blood vessels.
This means that when you have a cigarette, you are depriving your feet of the oxygen and nutrient-rich blood needed to fight against infections to keep them in good condition. It’s never too late to stop smoking.
So, if you need help and advice, there are support groups and online resources to help you pack in the habit for good. Don’t forget to try things like nicotine patches and gum to help you break the cycle.
Bathe in Lukewarm Water
When going for a shower or bath, it’s vital that you bathe your feet in lukewarm water rather than hot. The warmer the water is, the more damage can be done to your feet. Only use the temperature you would use on a baby.
Diabetes can be very dangerous to your feet. Even a minor cut can result in serious consequences. Therefore, following the guidance above will help you keep good care of your feet and prevent pain, swelling, inflammation, and infections from occurring.