If you’re someone living with diabetes, you probably spend more time than most people think about proper foot care.
That’s because the blood vessel and nerve damage that come from this illness can lead to serious health concerns if left unchecked.
The key phrase here is “if left unchecked.” You can avoid injuries and keep your feet healthy and happy by adhering to these “Do’s” and “Don’ts” of diabetic foot care.
1. Do: Check your feet each day
Because diabetes causes nerve damage, you may not realize when you have a cut, sore or crack on your foot. At the end of each day, put a mirror on the floor to check your feet for sores, changes in color or dry, cracked skin. If you can’t make out all the parts of each foot clearly, ask a friend or family member for assistance.
2. Don’t: Wait to treat injuries
Even minor things like bunions and calluses should be treated right away by a podiatrist. If left alone, smaller foot issues can lead to sores and eventually turn into infections.
Diabetic foot care means getting regular check-ups, and talk to your doctor for advice on taking care of your feet, and to get tips on losing weight and controlling your blood sugar.
3. Do: Look for exercises that area easy on the feet
Exercise is important when you have diabetes, but you need to look for a workout routine that will be easy on your feet.
Aerobics classes that involve jumping and bouncing might be a bit too much for you. Go for exercises that won’t too much pressure on your feet, such as walking.
4. Don’t: Smoke
We would advise anyone who smokes to quit, but giving up cigarettes is especially important for diabetic foot care. Nicotine decreases the circulation in your skin, which means you’re keeping blood from getting oxygen and nutrients to your feet.
5. Do: Keep your skin dry
When your skin gets too moist, it can break down and cause an infection, so make drying your feet should be part of your daily routine. Towel off when you get out of the shower, and change out of wet or sweaty socks as soon as you can.
6. Don’t: Go without shoes
Walking around barefoot – even inside – puts you at risk for cuts, scrapes and splinters. You might not notice these injuries if you have nerve damage, leading to infected wounds.
7. Do: Keep on top of your blood sugar
When your blood sugar levels get too high, it can lead to nerve damage, which makes it difficult for you to tell when you have a foot injury. In addition, high blood sugar levels can prevent your body from effectively fighting infection. The better you control your blood sugar, the healthier your feet.
8. Don’t: Forget to wear the right shoes and socks
When you have diabetes, shoe shopping means more than just picking something that looks stylish and feels comfortable. It’s important to find a pair of shoes with extra depth in toe, quality top and bottom coverage and few seams inside the shoe, as these can rub against the foot. When choosing socks, look for something with no seems, padding, and made from a moisture wicking fabric.
If you’re looking for the right pair of diabetic socks, Creative Care can help. We’ve spent more than 30 years helping people choose the right diabetic socks.
Our socks are built to withstand the same wear and tear as regular socks, while not constricting your legs. Visit our website to find a pair that’s right for you, and begin walking comfortably.