Foot Care Tips for Every Diabetic

If you have diabetes, you already know that there are a number of things you have to do to manage your health. You have to monitor your blood sugar, manage your food intake, and make sure to get exercise, no matter how busy you are. It’s important, though, that you add diabetic foot care to your daily to-do list.

In this blog, Kerry E. Berg, DPM, of Intermountain Foot & Ankle Associates explains why daily foot care is important and how you can go about doing it.

Why your feet need extra attention

About half of all people with diabetes have some degree of peripheral neuropathy. This condition means that your nerves have been damaged by chronically high blood sugar levels. Any of your nerves can be affected by this condition, but it’s most common for the nerves in your feet to be affected.

Peripheral nerve damage in your feet means that it’s less likely that you’ll feel pain in your feet. Although this might seem like a good thing, it’s actually dangerous, because you may not notice even minor problems — such as knicks or scrapes — and without treatment, this could lead to infection very quickly. In addition, having diabetes also means that you have less blood flow to your feet, which means that cuts and sores may not heal as quickly as they should.

How to take care of your feet

Some simple habits can help you protect your feet, and in fact, help protect your overall health in the long run. Some of these healthy habits include the following:

Check your feet every day

It’s important to develop a habit of giving your feet a thorough examination every day. Make sure to examine your heels, the sides of your feet, and between your toes. Check for potential signs of concern, such as blisters, cuts, and sores. Notice as well if your feet are hot or cold to the touch and if you have any signs of infection. If you have difficulty checking your feet, ask a family member to help.

Wash your feet in lukewarm water

It’s a good idea to wash your feet every day in a tub of lukewarm water, even if you also take a daily shower. It’s important that the water not be too hot. This is because if you have nerve damage, you might not be able to tell that the water temperature is too hot. 

Completely dry your feet with a clean towel and make sure to dry between your toes as well. Apply lotion after washing your feet to the tops and bottoms of your feet, but not between your toes.

Wear comfortable shoes

We always recommend that patients wear comfortable, supportive shoes, but this is especially important if you have diabetes. Your feet need to have plenty of room for your toes to breathe, so try not to wear shoes that pinch your toes, such as high heels.

Visit the doctor on a regular basis

Some people may be in a habit of only seeing a doctor when they’re sick or in pain. Regular checkups with a doctor are important for everyone, but this is even more the case if you have diabetes. 

Making regular appointments with your family doctor and podiatrist is essential. Dr. Berg can examine your feet and catch any problems before they become serious. And, if you need assistance with certain tasks, such as trimming your toenails, Dr. Berg can do that as well.

If you have diabetes and haven’t seen a podiatrist for a checkup recently, it’s time to make an appointment. Book an appointment online or over the phone with Intermountain Foot & Ankle Associates today.

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