Foot care and diabetes

Proper foot care is especially critical for diabetics because they are prone to foot problems.

Diabetics have a decreased resistance to infection. Once they get these infections, they usually take longer to heal. This is why diabetics should never try treating their own feet.

They should avoid all over-the-counter products which claim to remove corns and calluses. Also, they should never use a razor blade on their feet. Podiatric treatment of diabetics is multifaceted. The diabetic should be evaluated at regular intervals.

Diabetes is a disease with numerous medical and podiatric problems. While there is no cure, treatment is available and should be sought to prevent the long-term consequences of this disease.

Simple daily foot care for prevention

Take care of your diabetes

Make healthy lifestyle choices and keep your blood sugars close to normal. Work with your health care team to create a plan that fits your lifestyle

Check your feet daily

Check your feet for redness, sores, cuts or infected toenails. This should be a part of your everyday routine. If you have trouble bending over use plastic mirror or ask a family member to assist.

Important reminder: Be sure to call your doctor immediately if a cut, bruise, sore, or blister on your foot does not heal after one day.

Wash your feet daily

Use warm water – not hot. Do not soak your feet because your skin will dry out. Dry your feet well especially in-between your toes. Apply talcum powder between toes to keep dry.

Keep skin soft and smooth

Rub a thin coat of skin lotion (Vit. A and E) on tops and bottoms of feet and massage in. Do not put lotions in between toes. It could cause a fungus infection.

Wear shoes and socks at all times (hard to do in Cayman)

Do not walk barefoot, not even indoors. It is extremely easy to step on something and hurt your foot. Choose seamless socks to help avoid the possibility of blisters and sores developing. Try to find socks made of materials that wick moisture away from your feet and absorb shock.

Always check the insides of your shoes before putting them on. Make sure lining is smooth and no foreign objects in the shoe, such as pebbles.

Protect your feet from hot and cold

Wear shoes at the beach or on hot pavement. Put sunscreen on the tops of feet and ankles to protect them from the sun. Keep your feet away from radiators or open fires. Do not use hot water bottles or heating pads on your feet. Do not expose your feet to direct airflow from air conditioner.

Keep the blood flowing to your feet

Put your feet up when sitting. Wiggle your toes for five minutes, two or three times a day. Move your ankles up and down and in and out to improve blood flow in your legs and feet.

Do not cross your legs for long periods of time.

Do not wear tight socks, elastic, or rubber bands, or garters around your legs.

Do not smoke. Smoking reduces blood flow to the feet and decreases temperature to them.

Pay less attention to style of footwear and more to a good fit.

Shop for shoes in the afternoon, because feet tend to swell then.

Every time you buy a new pair of shoes have each foot measured, standing and fit the larger foot. Make sure enough room in the toe box, proper arch support and fit the heel without slipping.

Very high heels cause problems for feet as well leg and back pain by throwing your body forward on putting pressure on your ball of your feet.

Cut toenails straight across

Never trim your feet of calluses. Seek professional care if any problems last longer than one day.

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