Collect The Information About Diabetes Foot Care

The potentially damaging effects of high blood glucose levels make diabetes foot care an important issue for diabetics. If not diagnosed and controlled, diabetes can quickly get out of hand and damage nerves, eyes, kidneys, and blood vessels as well as the immune system. The good news is that every diabetic willing to learn and apply basic diabetes management techniques can live a long and productive life.

Diabetes and Feet

Diabetes Foot CareYour feet are of particular concern because of the way diabetes affects the body.

If you have suffered nerve damage, you may not be able to feel your feet, and you could easily miss a tiny cut or blister. If left untreated, the smallest break in the skin can develop into a serious infection or an ulcerous sore.

The naturally occurring sweat and skin oils that would normally help lubricate the skin of your feet may be disrupted, causing extra pressure whenever you walk, and eventually lead to sores. Damaged blood vessels and a disrupted immune system make it difficult for injuries to your feet to heal. Bacterial infection of the skin, muscles and bones of your untreated feet could eventually lead to gangrene. Regular and systematic diabetes foot care is the best way to prevent serious problems like this from starting.

Common Foot Problems

Diabetes foot care begins with awareness of the most common problems that can lead to infections of the feet:

  • Shoes that either do not fit right, or that do not address problem feet are a big problem. If you have bunions, flat feet, or hammertoes, you may need shoe inserts or even prescription shoes.
  • Long-time diabetics, or those with poorly controlled diabetes, may have damaged nerves in their feet, easily overlooking minor injuries and the pain of poorly fitting shoes.
  • Poor circulation complicates the proper healing of cuts and blisters. Circulation problems can also lead to hardening of the arteries.
  • Any form of trauma to the feet carries increased risk for diabetics.
  • Treat infections, such as athlete’s foot, and ingrown toenails as soon as they become evident.
  • Diabetics should avoid smoking, which damages the small blood vessels in the feet.

Diabetes Foot Care Problems

Stay vigilant for signs of problems with your feet, such as:

  • Pain in your feet, which could indicate infection, poorly fitting shoes or undue strain
  • Redness of your feet or legs, which could indicate an infection, or chafing of your shoes or socks
  • Swelling of your feet or legs, pain in your legs or buttocks, the skin on your legs turning hard and shiny, or if hair has stopped growing on your feet or legs, all of which could indicate a circulation problem
  • Areas of your feet or legs that feel warm, which could be a sign of an underlying infection
  • Redness that is streaking out from a wound or injury, which could indicate a spreading infection
  • Any type of break in the skin, which is a gateway for infection

How to Prevent Foot Problems

Prevent Foot ProblemsWash your feet at least once every day with a mild soap and lukewarm water.

Dry thoroughly with a soft towel, especially between the toes. If your skin is dry, you can lightly apply an emollient, but never between the toes. When your feet are completely dry, carefully inspect them for cuts, bruises and changes to the toenails. Use a mirror to check the underside of your feet.

Live a healthy life style. Quit smoking, exercise regularly, cut down on your consumption of alcohol and consume healthy foods.

Each time you buy new shoes, you should have your feet measured. Shoes should feel comfortable when you buy them without a “breaking in” period. Stay away from shoes that are too tight, or have high heels or pointed toes.

Your best resource for diabetes foot care is your podiatrist. You should have your feet examined a least once a year. Contact your podiatrist immediately if you suspect a problem with your feet because, especially with diabetes, the sooner you start treatment the better.

 

 

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