It’s estimated that there are over 30 million people in the United States living with diabetes. If you are part of this statistic, you should already know the importance of putting your health and wellbeing first. With this condition, you must pay close attention to your feet. A small cut can turn into something serious, including severe nerve damage that stops any feeling in your feet.
Whether you’re always on the go due to work, or you have a young family to run around after, your feet go through a lot on a day-to-day basis. To ensure you’re doing what you can to minimize any serious complications, here are some foot care tips that all diabetics must follow.
Inspect Your Feet Regularly
It’s your responsibility to inspect your feet on a daily basis to check for any changes. If you notice any swelling, redness, blisters, or cuts, these are causes for concern that should never be ignored. For those who struggle with their vision, it may be wise to purchase a magnifying glass that can give you a thorough look. Should you notice any of the problems listed, don’t delay in contacting your doctor. While you may see a minor cut as nothing serious, should it become infected, you’re at a higher risk of falling seriously ill and having an amputation.
Never Bathe in Hot Water
Many of us love nothing more than to relax in a hot bubble bath after a long and tiring day. For those who are diabetic, bathing in hot water will do your feet more harm than good. You must only use lukewarm water on your feet, as hot water can potentially scald your skin. Before getting in the shower or bath, make sure you test the temperature of the water with your hand to make sure.
As part of your daily skincare regime, you should be using moisturizer on your face, so when it comes to your feet, they shouldn’t be ignored. Using a daily moisturizer on your feet will stop any dry skin from cracking or itching. Whatever you do, make sure not to moisturize between your toes as this could result in a nasty fungal infection. There are specialist foot creams and moisturizers you can purchase that are diabetic-friendly and will help keep your feet feeling soft and fabulous.
Cut Nails Carefully
When cutting your toenails, make sure you stay patient and take your time. No matter what, you should never cut them too short, curved down the sides, or straight across as this can increase your risk of an ingrown toenail. Ingrown toenails are not only excruciatingly painful, but they can also lead to further infections that can have serious consequences. As a diabetic, you will be far more prone to infections, meaning it’s vital that you keep on top of cutting your nails regularly and carefully.
After a soak in the bath or the shower, make sure you’re gentle when you bathe your feet. Some people don’t realize how vigorous they are when washing their feet. If you experience dry skin or pain, it may be time to take a slower approach. A sponge or soft washcloth is advised when washing your feet. Make sure you’re always gentle with your feet, as this will reduce your risk of infection.
Don’t Go Barefoot
Whether you’re in the comfort of your own home, at a friend’s house, or you’re outdoors in the backyard, you should never be barefoot. The reason for this is diabetics will be putting their feet at a higher risk of scrapes and small cuts that can be caused by glass shards and splinters. Make sure you’re always wearing a pair of sturdy shoes when indoors and outdoors. Although it may seem like a hassle to always wear footwear, your feet will thank you for it!
Wear Specialist Shoes
There are specialist shoes that you should consider purchasing if you have diabetes. When it comes to shoe shopping, diabetics need to pay a little more attention to what they’re buying. You should select shoes that have more depth in the toe box and buy padded cotton socks that will protect your feet.
See a Podiatrist
If you have any concerns about your feet and need reassurance, seeing a podiatrist regularly is key. Diabetic foot care specialists like HLES regularly work with patients who are diabetic by conducting thorough foot examinations, tracking any changes, and providing expert treatment. Hartford Lower Extremity Specialists have many years of experience with ankle, foot, and toe issues associated to diabetes. Seeing an expert and having your feet checked over will put your mind at ease.
While a minor cut for many people doesn’t result in anything problematic, for diabetics, any injuries could lead to serious consequences. Putting all the tips above into practice will significantly reduce your risk of injury and infection, helping you to protect your feet.Follow me on social media for more!
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