Take Care of Your Feet for a Lifetime
Diabetics are at increased risk of foot problems due to poor circulation, loss of sensation (nerve damage) in their feet and the reduced ability to fight infections. Minor cuts, scrapes, blisters and sores can easily turn into foot ulcers that may lead to infection and even lower extremity amputation.
Avoid potential diabetic foot complications by controlling blood sugar, following a doctor recommended foot care routine and by having your podiatrist check your feet regularly. Diabetics should have their feet checked annually by their podiatrist to prevent diabetic foot problems.
Below is a list of diabetic foot care tips and recommendations:
1. Check Your Feet Every Day - Diabetics should to check their feet everyday for cuts, blisters, sores and cracks in the skin. Check the top and bottom and between the toes of both feet. Use a mirror to check the bottom of the foot.
2. Wash Your Feet Every Day - Wash your feet everyday in warm, not hot, water and dry them thoroughly.
3. Take Care of Skin & Nails - Trim toenails straight across avoiding digging in the sides and corners. If you have difficulty have your podiatrist cut your toenails regularly. Moisturize your skin. Rub a thin layer of lotion or cream to the tops and bottoms of the feet, avoiding the area between the toes.
4. Do NOT Go Barefoot - Diabetics should wear shoes at all times, even indoors! Always wear comfortable, properly fitting shoes and socks to prevent blisters and sores from developing. Feel inside the shoes each time before putting shoes on to make sure there are no sharp objects or edges that may rub against the foot causing blisters or scrapes in the skin.
5. Wear Diabetic Approved Shoes - Diabetic approved footwear protect feet from cuts and scrapes that can cause foot ulcers. They also provide extra support and protection for your feet. Your podiatrist can also prescribe diabetic approved shoes that may be covered by insurance.
6. Protect Your Circulation - Put your feet up when sitting. Don't cross your legs when sitting. Avoid smoking and minimize alcohol use.
7. Exercise Your Feet - Walking and being physically active is healthy for your feet. When sitting or standing for extended periods of time wiggle your toes and move your ankles up and down. If you have not exercised for some time or are hesitant about starting an exercise program talk with your healthcare professional.
Most importantly - Call your podiatrist if you develop a cut, sore, blister, or bruise on your foot that does not begin to heal after one day. If your foot becomes swollen, red or painful seek immediate treatment and elevate your foot until you are able to see your doctor.
If you'd like more information about caring for diabetic feet or to get started on a complete diabetic foot care program contact our Long Beach podiatry office, call Sol Foot & Ankle Centers at 562-433-0478.