Diabetes-related foot problems are difficult to treat and can worsen very quickly, so it is important to take good care of your feet. Make sure your health care provider checks your feet at least once a year, and more often if you have foot problems.
Here are a few foot care habits you can adopt to prevent foot problems from diabetes-
1. Inspect both your feet daily - Check both your feet daily, inspecting the tops, sides, soles, heels and the area in between all your toes. Blisters and infections may often start in the area between your toes, and with diabetic neuropathy, you may not feel them until they have become infected.
If you are physically unable to inspect your own feet, ask someone to help. Contact your doctor immediately if you discover any change of skin color, sores, redness, cuts, blisters, or bruises.
2. Wash your feet - Wash your feet every day in warm, not hot, water with mild soap. Hot water and harsh soaps can damage your skin. You may not be able to sense the water temperature with your feet, so check it with your hands first. Do not soak your feet too long in water - that can dry your skin.
3. Dry your feet - Pat your feet to dry them and make sure to dry well the area between your toes.
4. Moisturize dry skin - If the skin on your feet feels rough or dry, use petroleum jelly, lotion or oil to moisturize the skin. Do not use creams or lotions between your toes. The extra moisture can lead to infection.
5. Toenail care - Trim your toenails regularly. Cut toenails after bathing, and cut them straight across and file the edges.
6. Use proper footwear - Avoid walking barefoot – even at home. Walking barefoot can cause sores or injuries that can get infected. Therefore, it is best to wear shoes at all times.
Choose comfortable and better-fitting shoes. Even the slightest rubbing or misfit shoe can cause a blister that can get infected. Also, use cotton socks or a material that helps control moisture.
Dr. Trupti Shirole