People with diabetes have to take extra care of their feet. The condition can cause nerve damage and blood flow to the feet, making them more vulnerable to infection and lengthening healing times. Here we offer some guidelines that can help people with diabetes to avoid serious foot problems.
- Inspect the feet every day. Check for any redness, swelling or nail problems as well as for any cuts or blisters. A magnifying hand mirror will help you to check the soles of the feet.
- Always keep the feet clean with daily washing. It is important not to use hot water as this can cause further problems: make sure the water is only lukewarm. Gently use a sponge or soft washcloth to fully clean the feet before drying carefully by blotting or patting.
- If you suffer from dry skin, use a daily moisturiser: this will help prevent itching and cracking. Don't apply moisturiser between the toes as this could encourage a fungal infection.
- Keep nails well trimmed. Cut straight across the nails, using a file to smooth the edges. Make sure you don't cut the nails too short as this could lead to ingrowing.
- There are many over-the-counter remedies for treating things like corns and calluses but these can make the problem worse for diabetic feet. Always contact a medical professional for more appropriate treatment.
- If your feet get cold at night, wear a comfortable, clean pair of socks. Never use heating pads or hot-water bottles.
- Inspect the inside of your footwear before putting it on. Reduced sensitivity in the feet means that you may not be able to feel a foreign object (such as a pebble) inside your shoes and this can lead to injury.
- Wear therapeutic shoes. Foot Orthotics supply a vast range of specially-constructed shoes and sneakers designed for the diabetic foot. Check out our website to discover the full range.