The Importance of Foot Care when Living with Diabetes
Living with diabetes can come with its own set of challenging complications and daily duties. Did you know that diabetics are more prone to foot problems?
However, the good news is that you can easily prevent a lifetime of pain by making sure that you take care of your feet, checking them regularly as you would any other part of your body.
The reason diabetics are more prone to foot issues is that of the lower blood pressure diabetics often experience. This can cause nerve damage and circulation problems.
If left untreated, the condition can escalate and affect the rest of the body. This is why it’s so important to respond to any considerable changes you might see in your feet.
To prevent such issues, it’s important to check your own feet (as previously discussed) and to also check-in with your physician or other licensed health care provider. Ask questions regarding anything you see that is concerning.
When at your visit, the physician should give you a complete foot exam, analyzing your skin, nails, changes in color, temperature, etc. Make sure to not leave anything out that you think is unusual.
Do not dismiss anything that you see that is different about your feet even if you think it isn’t a big deal. It’s always best to ask before assuming.
How to Care for Feet
There are many things you can do to ensure your feet are in top shape. Here are the important ones:
Check your feet – Do your own regular physical exam at home. You can check the bottoms of your feet using a mirror and if not, ask a friend or family member. Be sure to look out for special cuts, blisters, bruising, swelling, or red spots.
Consult a Physician – This means talking to your medical team about any problems or pain you are experiencing in your feet. Ask about products they can suggest, included Medicare coverage or special shoes.
Be active – Get regular exercise to increase the circulation in your feet. Ask your physician about any health programs that will be beneficial to you. At home, you can do exercises such as wiggling your toes and stretching your feet.
Wash your feet – This without question should be happening every day. Washing your feet is essential to a good bill of health to prevent fungus, germs, and other diseases. Wash with warm water and use a mild soap. Dry them very carefully, especially between the toes.
Pamper them – Always make sure you regularly trim and cut your nails, or get them done at a nail salon to make things more fun. Avoid having them soaked, or talk to your doctor beforehand. Overall, trimming your nails is more than just a luxury. By trimming them often you prevent ingrown toenails and other toenail infections.
Don’t smoke. Ever. – Smoking causes a decrease in skin circulation by 70%, preventing the body from properly functioning to fight bacteria and increases other issues, such as depleting much-needed nutrients from your body.
Products to Use
Wear shoes with socks during all times and all seasons to prevent cuts and to protect your feet. If going to the beach anytime soon, wear proper comfortably fitting shoes. It is not a good idea to walk barefoot or in hot sand in order to prevent sores.
Look for a shoe that has good spacing around the toe area and without seam, creases, or objects that will rub against or otherwise scratch your foot when walking. Investing in a great shoe can save you a lifetime of pain and allow you to live life more comfortably.
In the winter, you’ll want to wear thick yet breathable socks. You’ll want them to be thermal, yet will keep your feet dry. Always dry feet completely after exposure to wetness, and be sure to moisturize them if they become too dry in order to prevent cracks in the foot’s skin.
After moisturizing, allow your feet to dry as moisture between the feet will be more harmful than helpful if left sitting for a long period of time.
Never use a heating pad or thermal heater on your feet. Those with diabetes tend to have a lower sensitivity to heat so their skin can overheat easier if they use such products. Ask you physician about what other options you have.
Wound Care Shoes
If you find yourself wearing a wound care shoe, your physician may also be recommending you diabetic socks, insoles, or other post-operative shoes that compliment your foot to heal.
Consult your physician regarding specific information how to wear the shoe or when to use it as everyone’s condition can be unique. Regarding any other information about the specific types of shoes, we may have on the market for your foot, contact us at ExpressMed.com.