During Diabetes Awareness month, we are doing a series of posts on how diabetes affects the 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.
While it is very hard to control diabetes, a person with diabetes can develop some habits that will help them watch over their 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. It is important for diabetics to be aware of any sores or problems with their feet so that any problems can be watched.
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. Diabetes will make it harder for you to be able to heal sores on your feet. For this reason, keeping the skin hydrated will help avoid sores.
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 at Evanston Podiatric Surgeons and Mag Mile Foot and Ankle Institute frequently work with patients who have diabetes We want the best for our patients and hope that they will never hesitate to ask any questions. We are there for them.