Preventative Foot Care Regimen for DiabeticsNumerous individuals have diabetes which is a condition that can eventually cause severe damage to the feet if it is not correctly managed and controlled. Management of the condition can be done with diet and exercise as well as with medications. Those with diabetes must closely monitor the condition of their feet and perform proper foot care on a daily basis as serious health issues can arise from poor foot care.
Often, improper foot care can lead to amputation of a foot or even an entire leg of a person with diabetes. Diabetics suffer more problems with the feet due to the fact that the disease damages nerves and the blood flow becomes greatly reduced to the feet. Statistics show that nearly one out of five diabetics that seek medical attention does so in relation to problems with the feet. Prevention through proper daily foot care is the only solution to this crisis.
Following are some basic suggestions to for a daily foot care regimen:
• At least once or more each day, diabetics should wash their feet in warm water using a type of mild soap. Be sure that the water is not hot as most diabetics develop nerve damage in their feet and cannot feel with their feet if the water is too hot and may get burned by the water.
• Following the thorough washing of the feet, individuals should pat the skin completely dry even between the toes. Never rub the skin dry.
• After skin is thoroughly dry, apply a moisturizing lotion or foot cream in order to keep the skin from cracking. Never put any type of moisturizer between the toes.
Examining the FeetOnce a diabetic has washed and dried their feet, they should also on a daily basis, examine their feet for any signs or symptoms of any damage. This should become part of the regimen of foot care that is practiced as a day after day routine. When examining the feet, some of the issues to look for are as follows:
• Always look at the top of the feet and the soles of the feet for any abnormalities. If an individual cannot see the soles of the feet, they should ask someone else to look for them as this is a very common place for damage to occur.
• Look for dry cracked feet.
• Touch different areas of the feet to feel for any amount of tenderness or any areas that may feel unusually warm. Check for any areas of redness.
• Monitor toenails for any ingrown nails.
• Check for corns and calluses.
• Watch for any cuts, sores, scratches, or blisters that may have developed.
• Never pop or bust the fluid filled sac of a blister or sore, cover it with a bandage.
Rigorous nail care if needed should also be given following washing and drying the feet. The nails will be softer and easier to trim, cut, and file after they have been in the warm water during washing. The nails should always be cut or trimmed straight across and then filed until smooth. Never cut the nails to the inward corners as this may cause the development of an ingrown nail. It is recommended that diabetics have a podiatrist to perform nail care when at all possible.
Additional AdviceDiabetics should be careful when choosing shoes to wear and should select those with closed heels and toes as well as at least a half inch of space above the big or longest toe of the foot. Shoes should have a soft inside and the sole on the outside should be made of a stiff and durable material. Anyone suffering with diabetes should research the disease well and ask their doctor about anything that they are not sure of. If any issues with their feet arise, an individual should seek immediate attention from their physician or podiatrist.