Diabetes increases your vulnerability to serious foot infections such as corns, bunions, blisters, and ulcers. And if your blood sugar levels are high, these minor injuries may become a gateway to potentially disabling infections like gangrene. Left untreated, it can lead to loss of toes or feet, and sometimes loss of life too. Therefore, maintaining good foot health is essential when you have diabetes.
If you're someone dealing with diabetes, start practicing these 8 foot-care tips to help keep your feet in good shape and to stay away from the complications of the disease:
#1 Make sure you check your feet every day
Look closely, maybe using a mirror or a hand lens for sores or blisters – even very small ones can create the biggest trouble. If noticed, talk to your doctor about it right away.
#2 Wash your feet
Wash your feet at least twice daily in lukewarm water using mild soap so as to clean your toes and feet without damaging your skin. You must do it every day, without a fail, to keep your feet free from microbes that can cause infection.
#3 Trim your toenails regularly
Whether you have diabetes or not, cutting nails is a must practice for staying away from germs. Cut straight across to prevent ingrown toenails.
#4 Don’t walk barefoot
Walking barefoot is recommended by health experts because it has many health benefits, but this isn’t right for you if you have diabetes. You can get a cut, crack, or sore easily, which can lead to major complications related to diabetic foot
#5 Wear soft cotton socks
Wear soft cotton socks at places where you can't use footwear. Take care that the socks are not too tight, as it may hamper blood circulation. Make sure to wipe your feet and dry them properly with a soft cotton towel, every time, before putting on your socks. Any amount of dampness can result in fungal infection in the web spaces.
#6 Apply moisturizer
Never miss applying moisturizer to avoid cracked heels, which can act as a doorway for infections.
#7 Place your feet up when sitting for long hours
Always place your feet elevated when sitting for long hours to avoid any kind of nerve sensation. Also, shake your toes and move your ankles up and down for 5 minutes at least 2 to 3 times a day, if you are in any desk job or, if you ever need to sit for long hours.
#8 Don't smoke
Smoking over time can decrease blood circulation to the feet, which can result in causing sores or injuries on your feet. So better quit it.
During every visit, your doctor would examine both your legs and your feet. A foot doctor or a podiatrist is helpful, especially for aging patients with type 2 diabetes.