3 pointers to take care of a diabetic's feet

October 9, 2015

The feet are vulnerable to the ravages of diabetes. The extremities can get severely damaged if the condition is not kept in check. Here are some tips to keep your feet healthy.

3 pointers to take care of a diabetic's feet

1. Get a clean start

  • Begin each day by putting on a fresh pair of socks. Some experts recommend wearing socks made of a breathable material like cotton, cotton blend or wool.
  • For people who exercise a lot, padded acrylic socks may be the best choice because they hold less moisture at the skin, resulting in fewer blisters.
  • Make sure socks fit well without bunching up, and don't wear socks with seams that will rub your feet, potentially causing pressure sores.
  • If you have decreased sensation in your feet, padded socks may reduce your risk of sores.
  • For very sweaty feet, change your socks throughout the day as needed.

2. Wear good shoes.

  • Footwear should provide both comfort and protection.
  • Leather uppers are best because they conform to the shape of your foot and breathe so that feet perspire less.
  • Opt for low heels for stability and soles made of crepe or foam rubber for excellent cushioning.
  • It's a good idea to have at least two pairs of shoes that you wear regularly so you can alternate from one day to the next, giving shoes time to air out between each wearing.
  • New shoes should never be worn for more than a few hours at a time.
  • When you put on your shoes, shake them out and feel inside to make sure there's no debris that could cause pressure or irritation.

3. Keep in touch with your doctor

  • A foot exam should be a routine part of every doctor's visit, just like taking your blood pressure.
  • Feet should be checked at least once a year — more often if you have signs of neuropathy or poor circulation or you've already had foot ulcers. (Bring your most-worn pair of shoes to the appointment so your doctor can check wear patterns.) But don't wait for your annual physical if you notice any changes in your feet.
  • Not every minor cut demands a physician's attention, but call your doctor if you develop an infection or sore, your foot is punctured by a sharp object, a toe becomes red and tender or you notice any change in sensation, such as numbness, pain or tingling.
  • Do not use acid treatments or over-the-counter wart or corn removers, and never try to perform do-it-yourself "bathroom surgery" to treat problems like warts, corns, calluses or ingrown toenails.

Losing your foot to diabetes can severely impact your daily living so take care of those toes all the time with the help of these expert tips.

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