Diabetic Foot Care for Spring-Ready Feet
By Natalie Jewell
Ah, spring! With warmer days upon us, most people can't wait to shed heavier layers for lighter attire, such as T-shirts, shorts, and sandals. But sandal season means it's time to get those feet in tip-top shape, which is especially important if you've got diabetes. In fact, if you've got this condition, you should treat every day as though it's flip-flop time for health reasons.
Having diabetes increases the chance of nerve damage, as well as reduced blood flow to the feet, making it difficult to feel if there is anything hurting you, such as a pebble in your shoe. Because of this, your feet are more prone to sores and blisters, increasing the chance of infection. Also, wounds take a long time to heal with diabetes. These factors put you at risk of complications, including amputation. Scary stuff, right?
Well, here are some steps you can take to have healthy, spring-ready feet even year-round:
Inspect your feet daily - Check your nails and look for blisters, corns, calluses, cuts, sores, redness, and swelling. Use a hand mirror if it is difficult for you to see under your feet or have someone check them for you.
Wash your feet using warm water and mild soap - Due to your diabetes, you may not be able to tell just how hot the water is, so to test it beforehand using your elbow. Be sure to dry your feet gently using a soft, clean towel ensuring that you get between your toes.
Cover any cuts or sores with sterile dressings - But if you notice any corns, warts, calluses, or blisters, don't treat them yourself. See your doctor or podiatrist. Treating them incorrectly could put you at risk of infection.
Moisturize your feet using a good scent-free lotion - Rub it into the tops and soles of your feet but avoid the area between your toes, as too much moisture there can lead to fungal infections.
Cut carefully - Using clean instruments, cut your nails straight across and don't cut them too short to avoid getting ingrown toenails. Then, file the edges with an emery board or nail file. Sterilize instruments after every use.
Don't skimp on footwear - Wear clean socks and well-fitting shoes, even indoors, to protect your feet. Before putting them on, remove any foreign objects. Wear socks to bed if your feet tend to get cold at night. Never use a heating pad, electric blanket, or water bottle on your feet.
Enlist help - If you're not able to look after your feet yourself, get help from someone who is professionally trained to do footcare. Some may even come to your home if it's difficult for you to get out.
So, for healthy, pretty, happy feet, follow the tips above. They'll help put a spring in your step!
To learn more about your health, wellness and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Arvada West.