Diabetics know how important quality foot care is to their health.
Healthy feet are happy feet, and happy feet keep us healthy. Diabetics know all too well the importance of good foot care, especially due to the high rates of neuropathy in individuals who have diabetes. Diabetics are more prone to foot issues, like blisters, calluses, bunions, and corns. Couple this with neuropathy, damaged nerves in the feet, and many of these injuries can go unnoticed, resulting in infections.
Amputation is quite common for many with diabetes; in severe cases, when blood flow has been severely compromised, a patient will suffer from PAD or peripheral artery disease. In PAD, loss of blood flow to the feet has caused such damage that amputation becomes necessary. This is clearly a severe and last resort for individuals who find themselves at this point.
We should all take better care of our feet, but diabetics, in addition to regular blood sugar tests and diet management, must also practice good foot hygiene. Here’s a checklist of things to do to ensure happy feet.
7 Steps To Happy Feet
- Check your feet every day. A small cut or scrape can easily become infected. Keep an eye on blisters or calluses and enlist the help of your podiatrist if you are not able to reach or see your feet.
- Wash and dry your feet. Apply lotion or petroleum jelly, but skip going between your toes. Too much moisture in this area can lead to fungal infections.
- Wear supportive socks and shoes. You can mitigate some of these common foot problems, like blisters, corns, and calluses, with proper footwear.
- Never go barefoot. A minor cut or scrape can become something major for many diabetics. Treat and care for any foot injury, and contact your doctor if a wound is taking too long to heal.
- Cut your toenails straight across and file any sharp corners with a nail file.
- Regularly see your podiatrist. Work with your doctor to help keep you on your feet.
- Choose low-impact exercises, like walking, swimming, or biking, to help you stay active.