Proper Foot Care for Diabetics

Proper Foot Care for Diabetics

One of the biggest problems type 2 diabetics face has to do with their feet.

Because of fluctuating blood levels, the blood vessels in a diabetic’s body may become weakened over time, reducing the efficiency of the blood flow through the extremities. Unfortunately, a reduced blood flow means that our bodies don’t heal like they should. A small cut can turn into a major infection or an ulcer.

Higher levels of blood sugar can also lead to nerve damage in the extremities. This is bad because our bodies are designed to warn us there is danger by using our nerves. When we get a cut or a scrape, the nerves “cry out” and let us know something is wrong. This allows us to stop doing what we’re doing and take care of the problem.

If a diabetic gets cut on the foot, he may not even know it due to nerve damage. And due to poor circulation, a small wound can become a major problem super quickly. This is why it’s important for a diabetic to take care of their feet. Some steps to do this include:

  • Inspect your feet daily. Invest in a good hand mirror and make sure to look at the bottoms of your feet and even in between the toes in order to find any new cuts or scrapes that might need taken care of.
  • Keep your feet clean. It’s best to wash every day using warm water and a soft towel. Never scrub hard or use super hot water as this may aggravate an existing condition.
  • Keep feet moisturized. Soft skin is less likely to crack or break, so keep your feet as soft as possible.
  • Trim your nails carefully and don’t cut them too short. Any minor cut can be a problem, so watch what you’re doing and take your time.
  • Ask for help removing corns, calluses, or warts yourself. It’s best to go to a podiatrist instead of doing any DIY treatment. This is because even a minor misstep can cause you major problems.
  • Choose shoes and socks carefully. You will do best to purchase socks that help enhance circulation and shoes that better cradle and care for your feet. Your shoes should allow air to circulate around the feet – Suede, leather or canvas are great fabrics to choose.
  • Make sure to call the doctor first – not last. Too many people love to “tough it out”, but when it comes to proper foot care for the diabetic, this is not the right tactic to take. Even small cuts may need professional treatment.
  • Get your doctor to inspect your feet during your diabetic check-ups. Many doctors do this, but it doesn’t hurt to ask that this be part of your physical regimen. This allows a second set of experienced eyes to look for problems that need to be treated.
  • Quit smoking. Smoking can further damage the circulation of blood to the feet. You simply don’t need that kind of damage.