Diabetic Foot Care Tips – A Simple Teaching Guide to Healthy Feet
Why Looking After Your Feet is Important
Foot problems in diabetes is extremely common. Approximately 1 in 10 people with diabetes can develop foot ulcers from seemingly innocuous wounds or blisters. High blood sugar levels can damage the nerves and vessels resulting in decreased sensation; so your feet feel numb and reduced circulation to the feet. Often, people with diabetes do not feel foot problems until they are in the advanced stage. This is why you have to take care of your feet and regularly check for problems before the serious complications develop. My diabetic foot care tips teaches you the four steps to care for your feet.
1.Inspect Your Foot Every Day
You should inspect your feet every day or ask someone else to check for you. Look for :
- skin color changes
- Hard skin (callus)
- Dry Skin
A healthcare professional should check your feet at least once a year. If you are at an increased risk of foot problems, a referral to a Podiatrist should be made.
Call your Doctor if a cut, blister or ulcer does not heal after a few days.
2. Wash & Moisturize Foot
Wash your feet every day with warm water and mild soap. Dry your feet carefully, especially between the toes ( an area prone to fungal infections). Avoid soaking your feet in water- this makes the skin soggy and increases the risk of skin damage and infection.
Use a moisturizer after you have dried your feet. There are specific moisturizing creams available just for the feet. Discuss with your healthcare team or pharmacist which one is best for you.
Do no apply moisturizer between the toes as it will make the skin moist making infections more likely.
Cut toenails every 6 to 8 weeks or when toenails have grown to just beyond the ends of your toes. If you cant reach your toenails ask a Podiatrist or someone else to cut them for you.
Toe nails should be cut straight across with a nail clipper. An emery board can be used to file the corner of your nails.
Avoid cleaning the sides or edges of the nail with sharp objects to prevent inadvertent injury. Instead, nails can be cleaned with a nail brush or a toothbrush brushing forwards from the base of the nail.
Wearing the correct socks and shoes are important to keep your feet healthy. Never walk barefoot. Wear well fitting cotton or woolen socks. But avoid socks or stockings with wrinkles or elastic seams because they may restrict circulation to the feet.
Shoes should be:
- Not too tight
- Broad fitting with space to wiggle the toes
- Flat or very low heel
- Lace or buckle fastening so feet are securely positioned with heel at the back of the shoe.
- Avoid plastic or vinyl shoes- they do not stretch and let skin breathe.
The Diabetic Foot Care Guide – Simple Steps to Healthy Feet
Follow the above steps to maintain a regular foot care routine and make sure your feet stay healthy.
If you have any concerns at all about your feet- do no wait to Inform your healthcare team before it gets worse.
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