Feet are one of the most important and neglected parts of the body. Foot pain is a very common complaint, though people tend to ignore it and carry on. In fact, feet need extra care because they work hard and carry the most weight. People who have diabetes need to pay special attention to their feet, because the condition blocks blood circulation to the extremities.
Why diabetics need special foot care
Your feet are one of the hardest working parts of the body. As a result, foot pain is a very common ailment, which will affect around 75% of the population at some point in their lives. However, most people tend to ignore foot health, and may not even know what to do if they have problems. People with diabetes need to take special care of their feet, because the conditions carries some risks.
In 2017, the American Association of Diabetes Educators reported that 30.3 million people were living with diabetes. Diabetes affects the blood circulation in your body and can reduce the flow to the feet and other extremities. It can also damage the nerves. With diabetes, there is also a greater risk of foot infections. However, there are some basic steps you can take to care for your feet. These will help prevent diabetic foot problems.
Guidelines for diabetic foot care
A regular daily routine of foot care, along with the right shoes, can help prevent any problems and infections. If these do occur, you should see a foot doctor before the problem gets out of hand.
Keep your feet clean
You should wash and dry your feet carefully and throughly every day. Use warm water and a mild soap, and pat your feet dry gently. Apply foot lotion after washing and drying them to prevent dry skin and cracking.
Check for problems
You can do this every day when you wash and dry your feet. At the same time, check them carefully for any dry skin, cuts, calluses, redness or other problems.
Clip your toenails carefully
Toenails can become a site for infection, so they should be kept trim. It’s easier to cut them after a shower, when they are softer. Toenails should be cut straight across and then shaped with a nail file. Some people prefer to ask a podiatrist to clip their toenails for them.
Exercise, with care
Exercise is necessary, but be careful to wear comfortable shoes when walking, working out or running.
Wear the right shoes
It’s important to wear shoes that fit properly. Wear shoes or boots to protect your feet. Avoid open shoes and sandals that expose heels or toes, and also uncomfortable designs like pointy toes and high heels.
The fit of your shoes matters, because if you have suffered nerve damage due to diabetes, you may not not even notice any foot pain if the shoes are too tight. Shoes with uppers made of leather or some stiff material and soft insides are a good choice.
See a doctor if there are any problems
If you notice any cuts, sores or infection on your feet, you should see a podiatrist right away.
Your feet literally do the heavy lifting for you, so you owe them some care and TLC. Diabetics need to take special care of their feet to avoid serious problems. If you experience any problems like foot pain or infections, you should see a foot doctor right away.