Tips for Diabetic Foot Care
With diabetes, you may experience problems with your feet. Diabetes puts you at higher risk for corns, calluses, blisters and ulcers. But you can take several steps to help keep your feet in good shape, by wearing specialized footwear, having regular foot exams, and performing low-impact exercise.
Tips for Diabetic Foot Care
Taking good care of your feet with diabetes can prevent problems before they start. Use the following tips to reduce your risk of common foot problems and serious complications associated with them.
1. Avoid Excessive Moisture
To help manage diabetic feet symptoms, you can safely use lotion. But it’s important to make sure you don’t put the moisturizer or lotion between your toes, because the extra moisture in that tight space may encourage fungus growth.
2. Avoid Soaking Your Feet
In contrast, soaking your feet when you have diabetes isn’t a good idea. Soaking your feet can make already-vulnerable skin even more fragile and susceptible to infection, either through making your skin too dry or too soft.
3. Check Your Feet Every Day
Look at your bare feet every day for cuts, blisters, red spots, and swelling. You can use a mirror to check the bottom of your feet or ask a family member for help if you have trouble seeing.
4. Wash Your Feet Every Day
Wash your feet with warm, not hot, water every day. Dry your feet well. Be sure to dry between the toes.
5. Keep The Skin Soft and Smooth
Rub a thin coat of lotion over your feet, but not between your toes.
6. Trim Your Toenails Each Week or when Needed
Trim your toenails and file the edges with an emery board or nail file.
7. Protect Your Feet from Hot and Cold
Wear shoes at the beach or on hot pavement. Wear socks at night if your feet get cold.
8. Keep the Blood Flowing To Your Feet
Put your feet up when sitting. Wiggle your toes and move your ankles up and down for 5 minutes, 2 to 3 times a day. Don’t cross your legs for long periods of time.
Besides these tips, you can also perform some precautions to avoid any trouble.
- Never walk barefoot, even on the beach.
- Wear comfortable shoes that fit well and protect your feet.
- Ask your healthcare provider about diabetic shoe coverage. Having properly fitting shoes will decrease the risk of complications.
- Check inside your shoes before wearing them. Make sure the lining is smooth and there are no objects inside.
Tips for Healthy Feet with Diabetes
- Avoid extreme temperatures to the bottom of your feet.
- Protect them from hot and cold temperatures.
- Don’t put your feet into hot water. Always test the water before putting your feet in it.
- Never use hot water bottles or heating pads; you can burn your feet without realizing it.
- Avoid crossing your legs. When seated, wiggle your toes and move your feet around.
- Elevate feet when sitting if you are prone to swelling of the feet and ankles.
- Avoid smoking, as smoking increases the risk of long term complications.
- Seek the assistance of a podiatrist or foot care specialist if you develop corns, calluses, ingrown nails or other worrisome foot related issues.
Most importantly, take care of your diabetes. Work with your healthcare team to keep your blood glucose within target range.