If you’re diabetic, you can manage many of your symptoms and slow the progression of the disease by paying close attention to your health and following your doctor’s advice. That always means paying special attention to your foot health.
Diabetics may lose feeling in their feet over time, and you can get a cut or blister without immediately realizing it. Injuries can be slow to heal or may not heal at all, causing you real problems. But those are not the only things that can happen to your feet when you’re diabetic. There are many more dangers — and you can avoid them.
Here are 10 important foot care tips for diabetics:
1. Keep your blood sugar as well as your blood pressure and cholesterol levels down. Do what your doctor tells you, test when you’re supposed to test and maintain good overall health. That’s a big contributor to foot health and to slowing the progression of the disease.
2. Examine your feet daily, using a mirror if necessary. Note red spots, swelling or sores. Report anything that’s changed or unusual to your doctor.
3. Wash your feet carefully each day, making sure the water isn’t too hot. Most health care experts recommend using water that’s 90 to 95 degrees. Be sure to dry between your toes.
4. If you notice any corns or calluses, be careful how you treat them. Your podiatrist or manicurist may suggest a pumice stone, but don’t use callus liquids or anything else that can damage skin and cause more problems.
5. Use lotion to hydrate your feet, but be careful about using lotion between toes. Moisture between toes can lead to infection. You might like Sof’feet Softening Cream.
6. Trim your toenails straight across to prevent ingrown nails, or do whatever works best if you already have a problem with ingrown toenails. Better yet, have a professional manicurist familiar with treating diabetics trim your nails.
7. Always wear shoes and socks. Going barefoot is asking for trouble because you could step on something and not immediately realize it. Around the house, orthopedic sandals may be the right choice to protect your feet, but be sure they’re sturdy enough and thick enough if you decide to wear them outside.
8. Wear footwear appropriate to the weather. That means boots, perhaps, in winter and shoes that cover and protect you from sunburn and heat-related dryness in summer. Stay away from hot water bottles and other heating sources to warm your feet and allow them to warm naturally in a warm room.
9. Stay active to maintain your circulation. This helps your overall health, and it maintains circulation to your feet, where it can be sluggish if you’re diabetic and inactive.
10. Don’t ignore pain. While diabetics are susceptible to plantar fasciitis, heel spurs and other pains like everyone else, pain can also be a sign of diabetic neuropathy, a serious condition that requires treatment and monitoring by your doctor.
When you follow these 10 tips, you can keep you feet healthy even though you have diabetes. Nothing is more important for a diabetic than foot health.