Caring For Diabetic Feet

diabetesIf you have diabetes, your feet need special attention. That’s why it’s so important to practice good foot care. Here are some simple tips to help ensure your feet stay healthy and happy.

Why Is Foot Care So Important?

The best way to take care of your feet is to keep blood glucose levels as close to normal as possible. This is important because prolonged high levels of blood glucose can cause damage in nerves and blood vessels in the lower legs and feet. The resulting neuropathy or damage to the sensory nerves can cause tingling and numbness in your feet. This in turn, may make it difficult to feel that you have a cut or sore on your foot. Because neuropathy results in decreased circulation, infections resulting from cuts or sores can be very difficult to treat.

Check Feet Every Day

Therefore, it’s imperative to check your feet every day. Look for signs of ‘wear’, especially on the backs of heels and the sides of feet. In addition, it’s important to check between toes and on the bottoms of each foot. If it’s difficult for you to see the bottoms of your feet, use a mirror or ask a family member to check for you.

Keep Feet Clean

Wash your feet daily with mild soap and water and be sure to dry them thoroughly. Daily cleaning not only helps detect trouble spots before they become problems, but helps wash away small irritants and debris. Soaking feet is not recommended, though, since this can cause skin to become fragile and more prone to injury. Lotions or creams can also help, especially in preventing dry skin from cracking. However, don’t use lotion or creams between toes.

Proper Footwear Is Vital

Make sure that you choose footwear appropriate to the activity that you’ll be engaged in. And ensure that shoes fit well. Footwear that is too loose or too tight can cause problems by rubbing or slipping. This, in turn, can create blisters, calluses or sores.

Shoes designed especially for diabetics are a great choice, since these feature roomier toe boxes, softer linings and extra depth. This can be important, especially if you need extra volume for custom orthotics. The Propét Preferred therapeutic shoe line offers a number of good options, especially the Warner for men and the Eden for women. Both come in tie and strap versions.

Consult A Healthcare Provider For Problems

You can never be too careful when it comes to caring for your diabetic feet. Therefore, it’s always a good idea to consult your doctor or healthcare provider right away if you have open sores or infected areas on your feet. The sooner these are treated the less the risk of serious complications.

Your doctor should also check your feet when you go for your regular diabetes checkups. A regular checkup of your feet and lower legs for sensitivity and circulation as well as any potential problems, will help in preventing serious long-term complications.

This will ensure your feet continue to serve you well for years to come.