If you have diabetes, even a small injury or other problem with your foot can have serious consequences. Diabetics often have to deal with nerve damage that can interfere with their ability to feel their feet. Diabetics can also experience blood flow problems that make it more difficult to heal and resist infection.
As a result of these issues, you might fail to notice something in your shoe or how your socks are irritating you. This could, in turn, result in a sore or blister that could ultimately cause you to lose a foot to amputation. The following tips will help you avoid these kinds of injuries.
Carry out daily inspections of your feet, looking for any blisters, cuts, swelling or nail problems. It's a good idea to purchase a small hand mirror with a built-in magnifying glass so you can closely examine your feet. Contact your physician if you notice anything unusual.
Keep Your Feet Clean
Wash your feet on a daily basis using warm water. Do not use hot water, since the last thing you want to do is to produce a blister. Be very gentle when washing your feet, using a soft sponge or washcloth. Blot your feet dry, making sure to get between your toes.
It can be very helpful to apply moisturizer to your feet, since this will help prevent the dry skin that can cause itching and cracking. But do not put moisturizer between your toes (this can encourage fungus growth).
Take Care Of Your Nails
You should maintain your nails very carefully. They should be cut straight and you should file down the edges. Avoid cutting your nails too short, since this could result in ingrown toenails.
Corns and Bunions
If you develop corns and bunions, you should never treat them yourself. Instead, have a foot and ankle doctor treat these problems for you.
You always want to be wearing clean socks that are as dry as possible. Change them on a daily basis at least (more often if you've been sweating a lot).
Buy the Right Socks
Avoid wearing any socks that have tight elastic bands, since this can interfere with circulation. Bulky or very thick socks can fit poorly on your feet and irritate your skin, so avoid them as well.
Wear Socks in Bed
If your feet tend to get cold during the night, you should wear socks. Do not use a hot water bottle or a heating pad on your feet.