Diabetes is a disease where the body is unable to produce insulin or unable to properly use the insulin produced. Insulin is a hormone that controls the level of glucose in our blood. Diabetes can lead to high levels of glucose in the blood. When the blood glucose is high, it can damage nerves, blood vessels and organs.
Diabetes can have a large effect on the blood flow and nerves to your feet leading to complications such as loss of sensation, poor blood circulation, and poor wound healing and increased risk of infection. Therefore is it very important to take good care of your feet if you have diabetes.
Here are some tips to help you care for your feet.
- Try to keep your blood glucose levels and hemoglobin A1c levels in the appropriate range
- Daily check your feet for any signs of problems such as dry, cracked skin, redness, blisters, swelling, pain, cuts or wounds
- See a chiropodist if you have difficulty caring for your feet or you notice an injury that is not healing or is infected
- Wash your feet with mild soap and lukewarm water and dry thoroughly (especially between your toes where moisture tends to collect)
- When applying lotion to your feet, avoid applying it to the skin between the toes
- Do not soak your feet
- Do not use a hot water bottle or heating pad on your feet
- Avoid using over the counter treatments as improper use can lead to further complications
- Do not walk barefoot and wear indoor shoes to protect your feet from injury
- Before you put on your shoes, always check the insides of the shoes for anything that can harm your feet
- Wear comfortable shoes with enough length, width and depth to fit your feet and toes
- Do not buy tight shoes and wait for them to stretch
- Break in new shoes gently
- Wear clean, dry socks every day to protect your feet
- Avoid wearing tight socks and socks with seams
- If your feet are cold at night, you can wear clean, dry socks to bed