Twelve Foot Care Tips for People with Diabetes
March 31, 2015
If you are living with diabetes, you know that improper foot care can lead to skin infections, open wounds or sometimes amputation. "Daily foot care is important in reducing the risk of lower extremity amputations, and foot care should be a part of the daily routine," says Rosario Garcia, ACCESS R.N., C.D.E.
Do you know the best ways to care for your feet? Here are twelve tips:
1. Give yourself a daily foot exam. Start by cleaning and gently drying your feet. A good exam looks for:
- Bumps or irregular textures on the balls of your feet;
- Lumps or open wounds on the soles of your feet; and
- Dry or cracked skin on your heels.
If you find cuts in the skin or an ingrown toenail, call your doctor right away.
2. Be sure your doctor checks your feet annually. It helps to take off your socks and shoes while you are sitting in the exam room waiting for your doctor to arrive.
3. Moisturize your feet daily with fragrance-free, colorless lotion. Avoid putting lotion between your toes where bacteria can form.
4. Keep your feet safe outside by avoiding strappy sandals, applying sunscreen and wearing water shoes in the pool or at the beach.
5. Women who get pedicures should not allow their cuticles to be cut.
6. Do not go barefoot, even inside the home.
7. Do not wear socks that are tight.
8. Cut your nails after a shower when they are soft, and cut them straight.
9. Ask your doctor to trim your toenails, if you are worried that you can't do it safely.
10. Put your feet up when you are sitting and be sure to wiggle your toes and move your ankles up and down to keep the blood flowing.
11. Be active.
12. Avoid smoking.