Diabetics Have Special Foot Care Needs
Foot care is especially important to people with diabetes. Uncontrolled diabetes can cause nerve damage and a loss of sensation in the feet. This can result in cuts and infections that may go unnoticed and untreated, sometimes leading to the loss of a limb. Poor circulation as a result of diabetes may also cause pain and sores on the feet.
The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases offer the following foot care tips for those with diabetes:
- Take care of your diabetes: keep blood sugar controlled.
- Check your feet every day for cuts, blisters, red spots and swelling.
- Wash your feet every day in warm water and dry them well.
- Keep the skin soft and smooth with skin lotion (except between the toes).
- Smooth corns and calluses gently using a pumice stone.
- Trim toenails weekly or when needed, cutting straight across and filing the edges.
- Wear shoes and socks at all times that fit well (not tightly) and protect your feet; check inside each shoe to make sure the lining is smooth.
- Protect your feet from hot and cold; wear shoes at the beach and on hot pavement, and socks at night if your feet get cold. Keep the blood flowing to your feet: elevate feet when sitting, wiggle your toes and move ankles up and down several times daily; don’t cross your legs for long periods and don’t smoke.
- Be active, with an exercise plan developed in conjunction with your doctor.
- Have regular foot-checks, and call your doctor immediately if a cut, sore, blister or bruise does not begin to heal after one day.
- Set a time every day to check your feet and take proper care of them for a lifetime.
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