A few minutes a day looking after your feet can prevent a lot of problems in the future.
The following advice will help you look after you feet properly.
How is foot problems caused?
Diabetes can lead to nerve damage in the feet and legs, resulting in a loss of sensation. Any trauma or injury to the foot (e.g. a tight shoe causing blisters) may not be felt and could lead to more severe problems such as ulceration. Diabetes can lead to a restricting blood supply to the feet and legs, resulting in cold painful feet. Because of this, injuries to the feet may be slow to heal and can quickly become infected.
- Examine your feet
Damaged skin can lead to infection. Look at you feet closely to check for cuts and scratches, swellings and inflammation or discoloration. If you can’t see too well ask someone else to do this for you. Or use a mirror to inspect the sole. Feeling your feet will also help find lumps, swelling and hot or cold spots. Rinse any cut or scratches with water and apply a moisturizing cream. Contact your podiatrist or doctor.
- Wash your feet often
It is important to wash and examine your feet everyday. Use lukewarm water and mild soap. Dry them well but gently. Don’t forget to dry between your toes. Use moisturizing cream to keep your skin soft and supple but don’t apply this cream between your toes or it may make the skin too moist.
Like many people who are diabetic you may not be able to feel heat, cold or pain very well in your feet. You must take certain precautions because of this. Take care not to burn yourself on a hot-water bottle for instance. If you use an electric blanket, remember to switch it off before going to sleep. Don’t put your feet too near a fire or against a radiator. Check the temperature of the bath water using your elbow before stepping into it.
- Toe nails
Toe nails should usually be cut straight across. Don’t cut or probe down the sides of your nails. If you have reduced feeling or circulation in your feet, it will be safer to take help.
- Corns and callous
Corns and callous should be dealt with by your doctor. Don’t try to cut them yourself and don’t use corn remedies.
- Check your footwear regularly
Shoes should be a good fit, preferably lace-ups with soft upper and roomy at the toes. This will allow your foot muscles to work properly and prevent rubbing. When buying shoes, always ask for feet to be measured. Its better to get them measured in the evening. Wear new shoes just for an hour or two at first. Always change into clean socks or stockings which fit well. Examine your shoes, socks and stockings for damage each time before putting them on. Cracks, small stones and nails can irritate and damage your skin.
Smoking can worsen circulatory problems. Ask for advice at your health center on how to stop smoking.
This is just simple & general information. For all your personal advice / query consult your doctor.