Of all the diseases that can infect you, diabetes is perhaps the worst of them all. It is not an instantly fatal illness but can kill you slowly making your healing process delayed and difficult. More often than not diabetics do not pay attention to foot care which can be disastrous. In fact, a diabetic patient needs to be extra cautious about foot care than a normal person.
What is foot care for diabetes?
Diabetes often causes nerve damage impairing the normal blood circulation in the lower limbs. A simple cut or wound may give rise to chronic infection issues causing serious problems with your foot. Uncontrolled infection may lead to life threatening diabetic foot gangrene. You need to adopt extra safeguard to ensure your feet is healthy and free from infections. If you can control your diabetes, automatically you lower the chances of foot infection by several degrees.
How it is different from normal foot care?
You need to be more alert with your foot care. In general, foot care involves all aspects of preventive and corrective care about your feet, toes and ankles in consultation with specialists called Podiatrists.
For non-diabetics, foot care does not call for any serious attention. But the extra level of sugar in your blood is a big hindrance to the healing process if your feet and toenails get injured and infected.
Apart from regular blood sugar monitoring, additional foot care tips listed below would keep you in the safe side.
- Regular inspection of feet and toes is strongly advised. If you are unable to do it yourself due to some physical inability, you can use a mirror. You can ask someone to help you with your purpose.
- Make it a regular habit to wash your feet with warm water and mild soap. Too hot water may harm your feet. Check the water temperature with your fingers prior to dipping your feet in it. But do not test the temperature with your feet. They may not give you the correct picture as a diabetic foot turns insensitive to heat.
- Infections start in moist areas and so try to keep your feet dry always.
- You may apply moisturizer on your feet using lotion or oil. But a word of caution! Do not apply lotion in between your toes.
- Never apply undiluted antiseptic lotions to your feet. They can burn your skin around the area.
- Avoid application of heating pads, hot water bottles and electric blankets on your feet. They cause irreparable damage.
- Avoid walking barefoot. The habit may cause sores and injuries to your feet.
- Always guard your feet from coming in contact with the extremities of temperature.
- Use of razors, corn plasters, corn removers, calluses, chemical wart removers and other foot lotions are extremely harmful to your foot. You must see a good podiatrist to get a solution for issues concerning your foot.
- Never attempt to sit with your legs crossed or stand in one position for long. This hampers your normal blood circulation.
Caring your toenails:
An effective toenail care is an integral part of your diabetic foot care too. Here you should ensure the following:
– After washing your feet make sure you trim your toenail well.
– Cut your toenail straight and avoid cutting it along a rounded curve. It can cause in-growing toenail which is very painful.
– Don’t trim tour toenails too short.
Shoe and socks hygiene:
-Select the right fitting pair of shoes and socks. Your shoes must fit around well and should never be too tight
– Always wear a clean pair of socks. Try to wear cotton socks instead of wearing synthetic nylon ones. They trap sweat and make your foot moist encouraging bacterial infection.
– Select shoes having more depth in toe box and a good coverage of both top and bottom. The pair should not have inside seam that will constantly rub against your tender skin.
-Prefer wearing shoes made of canvas or suede instead of leather ones. This will prevent unnecessary sweating of your feet.
For enhancing blood circulation in your feet:
Try to keep the blood circulation in your feet going. This will reach oxygen and nourishment to every corner of your feet and toes reducing the chances of infection.
-You can do this by wriggling your toes and gently twisting your feet back and forth.
-Pick up the habit of regular walking. Foot muscles need exercise to remain healthy and active.
– Take vitamin B complex in consultation with your doctor. It improves the immune and nervous system. It can reduce your diabetes mellitus related issues.
Last but not the least carry on regular physical workouts along with maintaining a healthy diet to keep your blood sugar level and other vital parameters within a permissible range.