Per the American Association of Diabetes Educators, nearly 30.3 million people have been reported as living with diabetes as of the end of 2017. A lot of care goes into every aspect of diabetes with special attention needed for diabetic foot care. It is important to see a diabetic foot care specialist to ensure that your feet stay healthy and protected from circulation problems, nerve damage and infections. All of those complications can lead to serious foot ailments and problems.
You Need to Take Special Foot Care Precautions as a Diabetic
Being diabetic does not mean you cannot maintain healthy feet. Actually, it is part of any healthy lifestyle. However, diabetics tend to have problems with their feet associated with not maintaining healthy blood sugar levels. In order to keep your feet healthy, you need to schedule regular exams with a diabetic foot specialist as well as your diabetic specialist. Have your feet checked often by your physicians as well as your A1c, cholesterol and blood pressure.
Other habits you should have in place for good diabetic foot care include regular exercise, monitoring blood sugars daily, eating a balanced and a nutritional diet rich in vegetables and fruits as well as daily diabetic foot care. Serious problems can be prevented when you follow an excellent diabetic foot care regimen.
What Habits Should You Have for Great Diabetic Foot Care?
Great habits for healthy foot care starts with daily care for your feet. You can start by inspecting your toes and feet including the sides, tops, heels, the areas between your toes and heels. If you cannot physically inspect your feet on your own, try using a mirror or ask for assistance. If you discover redness, sores, bruises or blisters you should contact a foot care specialist and make an appointment to have any issues examined.
Keep Your Feet Clean
Keeping your feet clean is very important for diabetics. Use mild soap and warm water while bathing them, not harsh soaps or hot water that could damage your skin. Always check the temperature of the water you are using before you submerge your feet. Having diabetes foot damage can make it very difficult to sense the temperature of water with your feet.
Keep Your Feet Dry
After washing your feet they should be pat dry and dried well. An infection can develop in a moist area, so dry between all of your toes too. This helps keep your feet healthy and is recommended by podiatry specialists. Once your feet are completely dry, then you should moisturize your skin. This is especially true if your feet are typically dry or rough. Use oil or lotion just do not put lotion between the toes.
It Is Important to Avoid Certain Foot Care
While developing healthy foot care habits is a great idea, there are certain habits that as a diabetic you should avoid. Antiseptic solutions tend to burn skin. So, you should not use them without the approval of your diabetic foot doctor. Don’t use heating pads, electric blankets or a hot water bottle on your feet. Do not walk around barefoot. You may not be able to feel how hot the pavement is or sandy beaches. Walking barefoot around the house can even be a problem and can cause injuries or sores that become infected.
Protect Your Feet at All Times
Part of protecting your feet at all times includes keeping them from becoming too hot or too cold. Do not remove calluses, corns, lesions or warts yourself. You should see a podiatrist for care that includes removing any of the above. It is also not a good idea to cross your legs or stand in a single position for too long. When it comes to toenail care be very careful if you cannot trim toenails safely. Foot problems related to diabetes can worsen quickly and are very difficult to treat. Always seek fast medical attention when you have foot pain or a visible problem.