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10 Must-Know Foot Care Tips for People With Diabetes

Posted by Billy Kanter, CPED on Jul 11, 2022 3:27:48 PM
Billy Kanter, CPED
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10 Must-Know Foot Care Tips for People With Diabetes

As a person with diabetes, taking care of your feet should be a top priority. People with diabetes heal slower and are more prone to foot infections that can lead to gangrene and amputations if left untreated. For many people with diabetes, foot care is often overlooked, though it shouldn't be. So, what are some must-know foot care tips for people with diabetes? Read on to find out.

Inspect Your Feet Daily

As a person with diabetes, you'll want to constantly look for cuts and scrapes, especially since people with diabetes heal slower than the general population. As such, it helps to inspect your feet. Place a mirror on the ground and lift your foot above it to examine it thoroughly. That way, you can see any bruises, burns, cuts, scrapes, and the current level of healing. This may be done using the mirror on the inside of our shoe boxes as well! If you don't inspect your feet, you won't be able to keep an eye on any wounds, and infection will more readily creep in. If you do notice a cut that hasn't healed in a few days, go to urgent care or see your doctor depending on the severity.

Never Treat Cuts and Callouses Yourself

While it may be tempting to use a medical pad and a scraper yourself, you risk cutting yourself and making things worse. Callouses may be hardened skin, but there's still soft skin underneath, and cutting that can be painful for anyone but could spell a serious doctor's appointment for you. This is a job for a podiatrist.

Support Your Feet With Diabetic Footwear

Diabetic socks, men’s and ladies’ diabetic slippers, and diabetic shoes are all available and supportive products to take care of your feet. Diabetic footwear can help improve circulation and protect your feet from cuts and other wounds. Diabetic shoes are perfect for people with diabetic neuropathy who struggle with feelings of pain and numbness. When you first get a diagnosis and your supplies, this should be the first accessory on your list.

Don't Go Barefoot

This is why you need diabetic footwear to begin with. We'll dive into diabetic neuropathy in different sections. You should note that it's pretty common for a person with diabetes to walk across the room and have an accident. They may step on glass or their child's Legos and not feel anything because of the condition. Because of this, people with diabetes are highly cautioned not to go anywhere barefoot, even in the house. Diabetic footwear is an amazing way to protect your feet and one of the simplest must-know foot care tips for people with diabetes.

Keep Your Feet Dry

You must keep your feet dry. This is especially important during the summer months, so it might be wise to have a dry wipe or a towel to catch any moisture and dry them appropriately. Remember, when skin is moist, it breaks down and leads to infections. If your feet are moist and your socks are sweaty, take them off immediately, wash them, dry them thoroughly, and get a new pair.

See a Podiatrist Regularly

You aren't a doctor. Some people specialize in cases like yours. We'll talk about building your health care team shortly, but remember when we mentioned not trying to take care of callouses yourself? These are the people you go to treat any foot issues you may have. Podiatrists will treat the callouses and cuts for you, and if you deal with diabetic neuropathy, they'll give you the next steps on how to deal with it. A podiatrist is an invaluable addition to any healthcare team.

Low Impact Exercises

Being diabetic means exercise should definitely take a high priority in your life. While we understand the desire to jump and leap around an exercise studio, it may not be good for your feet. Remember, people with diabetes have very delicate feet, and it only takes one accident to send them to urgent care. Therefore, it'll probably be ideal for you to askew jumping in favor of a light jog, walking, or even swimming. Anything that will take pressure off your feet will help guard your foot health.

Quit Smoking

Everyone should quit smoking, given it's a primary health cause of cancer. However, it's also a double-edged sword for people who have diabetes. Smoking deprives your feet of nutrients and oxygen-rich blood that help fight infection since it decreases circulation. We know that the habit is hard to kick, but even still, it's important to do so since you can't afford to lose circulation. It would effectively work against your health regimen if you smoke, so it's not ideal. Quit if you can!

Control Your Blood Sugar

We’ve talked about diabetic neuropathy a lot, but what is it? Diabetic neuropathy is when high blood sugar levels lead to extensive nerve damage. This leads to pain and numbness in the legs and feet. Since it's directly connected to blood sugar management, you want to ensure that your blood sugar stays at normal levels. You can do that most effectively by watching your diet and portion size. Stay away from overly-processed and high cholesterol foods, and incorporate as many vegetables as you can into your diet.

Have a Good Healthcare Support System

You require support. This will come in the form of personal trainers, therapists, podiatrists, and general practitioners who'll help you stay on track with your health goals. They all must understand your situation and know the history of your illness so they can help you. They'll help you stay on top of your numbers, give you suggestions for any classes you should take, and give you a nutrition plan. You'll notice that we also included a therapist in the lineup. This is by design. Diabetes is tough and can be taxing on the mind since it can be a major shift in lifestyle for some. It's important to get all the help you can get, and that includes mental health.

In short, diabetes doesn't have to be a massive burden. With the right support and principles in place, you'll be well to live a healthy life. Much of it starts with your feet, and we hope you're inspired to take better care of them. If you want to learn more about diabetic footwear, check out our products!

10 Must-Know Foot Care Tips for People With Diabetes

 

Topics: Diabetes Blog, Patient, Lifestyle

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