As a diabetic, many times a patient can have a loss of sensation or poor circulation. Some patients are not even aware of these issues. For this reason it is important the patient follows some simple foot care prevention. Below are suggestions for preventive diabetic foot care.
Take care of your diabetes.
- Work with your healthcare team to keep your blood sugar within a good range.
Check your feet every day.
- Look at your bare feet every day for cuts, blisters, red spots and swelling.
- Use a mirror to check the bottoms of your feet or ask a family member for help if you have trouble seeing.
Wash your feet every day.
- Wash your feet in warm, not hot, water every day.
- Dry your feet well. Be sure to dry between the toes.
Keep the skin soft and smooth.
- Rub a thin coat of skin lotion over the tops and bottoms of your feet, but not between your toes.
Smooth corns and callouses gently.
- If your feet are at low risk for problems, use a pumice stone to smooth corns and callouses. Do not rub the skin too vigorously.
- Don’t use over-the-counter products or sharp objects on corns and callouses.
If you can see and reach your toenails, trim them each week or when needed.
- Trim you toenails straight across.
- Do not dig into the corners of your toenails.
Wear protective footwear at all times.
- Never go barefoot.
- Wear comfortable shoes that fit well and protect your feet. Walking or running shoes may be helpful for some diabetics.
- Feel inside your shoes before putting them on each time to make sure the lining is smooth and there are no objects inside.
- Wear socks at night if your feet get cold.
- Wear protective footwear at the beach, swimming pool or on hot pavement.
Keep the blood flowing to your feet.
- Wiggle your toes and move your ankles up and down for 5 minutes, 2-3 times per day.
- Don’t smoke.
- Don’t cross your legs for long periods of time.
Finally, have a podiatrist at New Mexico Foot & Ankle Institute check your bare feet and find out whether you are likely to have serious foot problems. Remember that you may not feel the pain of an injury.
Call New Mexico Foot & Ankle Institute right away if you find a cut, sore, blister, or bruise on your foot that doesn’t begin to heal after one day.