I’ve talked before about how to care for your feet, and the importance of going to a Podiatrist on a regular basis (especially when you have diabetes). Nonetheless, it’s equally important to be regularly checking your feet yourself. Below are 4 tips to help you check your feet yourself.
- Examine the Bottoms of your Feet:
- Scan the surface for bumps and irregular textures. This area endures high pressure when you walk, putting you at risk for calluses or corns to develop. Proper-fitting footwear can reduce your risk.
- On your heels, feel for dry, rough, or cracked skin. Even small fissures can become infected. For prevention, moisturize daily with odorless, colorless lotion. Don't moisturize between toes; bacteria love warm, moist places.
- Look Carefully at the Tops of your Feet:
- Do a visual inspection. Search for any abnormalities on the top of your feet such as scabs, sores, bruises, or corns. Check your toes and toenails for proper nail color and length.
- Examine your Toes:
- To test for blood flow, gently squeeze the balls of your toes. Normal color should return within five seconds. Discolored toes indicate possible circulatory problems.
- Examine unpolished nails for thickness, discoloration, or flaking, which can be signs of fungal infections. A doctor may advise an over-the-counter or prescription treatment.
- Look for ingrown toenails, characterized by reddened, puffy skin along the nail. Ingrown nails can require surgery if ignored for too long.
- Track your Exams:
- This is very important because if you start noticing changes in your feet, you need to contact your Podiatrist ASAP.
- On paper, take note of any sores, corns, unusual temperatures, etc. Describe how irregularities look, feel, and smell. Compare your notes from exam to exam.
Being proactive is the key to staying on top of any condition, and when you’re dealing with diabetic feet, it’s a necessity.