Taking Care of Diabetic Foot

Anybody with diabetes can develop foot ulcers and foot pain, but proper foot care can help prevent them. Treatment for diabetic foot ulcers and foot pain varies depending on their causes. Foot problems most often happen when there is nerve damage, also called neuropathy. This can cause tingling, pain (burning or stinging), or weakness in the foot. It can also cause loss of feeling in the foot, so you can injure it and not know it.

Diabetes can also cause changes in the skin of your foot. At times your foot may become very dry. The skin may peel and crack.

Calluses and ulcers may also become a cause of concern for the elderly with diabetes.

All of the above cases need medical attention and are best treated by professionals or caregivers who are trained to tackle the issues. The best strategy to avoid diabetic foot issues is to prevent injuries. The CDC reports that almost half of non-traumatic loss of toes, feet or legs can be prevented with daily foot care. Regular foot inspection, maintaining foot hygiene and managing blood sugar levels are the most essential tips to avert aggravations.

Tips for Diabetic Foot Care

Proper foot care can prevent serious issues. Here are some tips for a complete foot care plan:

  1. Managing diabetes is extremely important. Follow your doctor’s advice regarding nutrition, exercise, and medication.
  2. Wash your feet in warm water every day, using a mild soap. Test the temperature of the water with your elbow because nerve damage can affect sensation in your hands, too.
  3. Do not soak your feet. Dry your feet thoroughly, especially between your toes.
  4. Check your feet every day for sores, blisters, redness, calluses, or any other problems.
  5. If the skin on your feet is dry, keep it moist by applying lotion after you wash and dry your feet. Avoid putting cream between your toes.
  6. Check your toenails weekly.
  7. Always wear closed-toed shoes or slippers.
  8. Wear shoes that fit well.
  9. Always check the inside of shoes before wearing to ensure that there is nothing inside them.
  10. Protect your feet from extreme heat and cold.
  11. Put your feet up when sitting, wiggle your toes and move your ankles several times a day, and don’t cross your legs for long periods.
  12. If you smoke, stop. Smoking can make problems with blood flow worse.

Make sure to practise these exercises to ensure proper care of your feet.

If you have a foot problem that worsens or is troublesome, contact your doctor. Make sure your diabetes doctor checks your feet during each checkup. Get a thorough foot exam once a year. See your podiatrist (a foot doctor) every 2 to 3 months for checkups, even if you don’t have any foot problems.

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