What Every Diabetic Should Know About Proper Foot Care

Everyone wants healthy feet, but proper foot care is especially important for people with diabetes. When your feet are healthy, you can stay active, meet your day-to-day obligations, and live with less pain.

The dangers of diabetes for your feet

Your feet are more vulnerable to injury when you have diabetes for two main reasons: nerve damage and slower healing. Diabetes can cause nerve damage, which could make it more difficult for you to feel things, such as an object in your shoe, chafing, or a small cut on the bottom of your foot.

In addition to the possible lack of feeling, you may have reduced blood flow to your feet, which makes it more difficult for those small injuries to heal. A tiny blister can become an infected wound more easily for you than for a person who doesn’t have diabetes. And serious wounds can lead to amputation for people with diabetes.

Five ways you can protect your feet

Like we tell our patients here at Midtown Foot Care, having diabetes means you need to pay special attention to caring for your feet. Since it’s National Diabetes Month, we’d like to share five things every diabetic should know about proper foot care.

  1. Inspect your feet every day

Don’t just glance down at them in the shower. Instead, carefully inspect the bottoms of your feet, your heels, between your toes, and your toes themselves. If you see anything, like a raw spot where your shoe has rubbed, a swollen area, a cut, or anything that just seems wrong or off, schedule an appointment with us.

2. Wash your feet each day

Use lukewarm water as you would use to bathe a baby. Be gentle when you wash your feet, and use a mild soap and a soft cloth or sponge.

After washing, carefully dry your feet. Make sure to get the skin between your toes completely dry. Use lotion on your feet to keep your skin soft and to prevent cracking from dryness.

3. Consider getting help

You can come to our office to have your toenails trimmed or to have calluses or corns taken care of. If you can’t comfortably reach your toenails or you aren’t sure how to safely cut them, this is probably your best option.

4. Protect your feet

Don’t go barefoot. Check the insides of your shoes before putting them on and make sure there are no objects in them or that the lining isn’t worn or torn. Always test water before putting your feet in it. Don’t use hot water bottles or heating pads, and be aware that you can burn your feet without realizing it.

5. Take care of yourself overall

Work with your family doctor to make sure you’re taking the most effective diabetes medications. Eat properly and exercise enough in order to keep your blood glucose level in your target range. Preventing additional nerve damage is an important part of proper foot care.

Also, do what you can to improve circulation to your feet. Sit with your feet propped up, wiggle your toes and circle your ankles several times per hour, and don’t sit with your legs crossed. Quit smoking.

Be sure to book an appointment at Midtown Foot Care at least once a year. Even if you don’t need help trimming your toenails, and you’re taking every possible precaution, you should see us at least once a year for a thorough foot exam.

If you’re in the Midtown area of New York City, make your annual appointment by phone or click the “book online” button now.

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