During Diabetes Awareness month, we are going to do a series of posts on how a person with diabetes needs to take care of their feet. Uncontrolled diabetes can affect the feet in several ways. The result of continuing to have uncontrolled diabetes can lead to amputation of the foot and/or leg. This is a harsh reality for people with diabetes. With good monitoring (which includes exercise, eating right and watching one’s levels) a person with diabetes can live a long healthy life.
Today, we are going to talk about 5 habits to help maintain foot health.
5 Habits for Foot Health
1. Do daily foot checks. Just take a minute and look all over your feet. Use a hand mirror to really look at the bottom of your feet and look between the toes. Make sure there are not any cuts or marks that you don’t recognize. Also check to see if your feet are dry.
2. Moisturize. It is important to keep the skin on your feet soft and smooth. (Even for you macho men) Skin that has plenty of moisture does not split and crack. Those splits and cracks can let in bacteria and infection.
3. Keep your toe nails clipped straight across and not too long. If you have problems cutting your nails, don’t hesitate to see your friendly local podiatrist to get your nails clipped safely and in sanitary conditions.
4. Do not walk around in your bare feet. There are so many accidents that can hurt your feet – stubbed toe, stepping on a foreign object and having it go into your foot, dropping something on your foot) that can be avoided by wearing a foot covering.
5. Wear shoes that fit. Shoes that are tight can cause problems with the bones in your foot, they can cause blisters, and they just plain make your day miserable. Shoes that are too loose can cause accidental falls. If you are not sure about your size, go to a store that measures your foot before you try on shoes. When you are going shoe shopping, remember that your feet are more swollen at the end of the day. Also, when you are buying shoes, make sure they feel great when you try them on. Don’t buy shoes thinking that they will stretch and be comfortable then. No, they should feel great right away.
We will continue our Diabetes Awareness Month series next week by talking about peripheral neuropathy.