Foot care for diabetics
Although treatment for diabetic foot problems has improved in many ways; prevention - including good control of blood sugar level - remains the best way to prevent diabetic complications.
About one in five people with diabetes enters the hospital for foot problems. Diabetes-related foot complications are the main cause of non-traumatic lower limb amputation.The good news is that 85% of these amputations could be prevented by good blood sugar control, better preventive foot care, and better care of foot ulcers.
Few things necessary for prevention of diabetic foot problems are—
Make healthy lifestyle choices, take your medicine properly and exercise regularly to keep your blood sugar close to normal. Balanced diet, Regular exercise, Right medicine and monitoring are essential to keep blood sugar levels under control. Early use of insulin can add flexibility and good control in life of person with diabetes.
Look at and touch your feet every day: tops, bottoms, backs, sides and between the toes daily. Get prompt medical attention for any problems like a cut, sore, blister, or bruise
Keep your feet clean and dry especially between your toes. Wash your feet in warm, not hot, water
Cut or file toe nails in the shape of the toe, smoothing all sharp edges.
Moisturize dry skin with a good lotion. Do not put lotion between your toes, because this might cause infection.
Never go barefoot. Wear house shoes at home.
Avoid injury to your feet. Have corns, calluses or ingrown toe nail treated by a professional. Never perform bathroom surgery on corns or calluses.
Don't use antiseptic solutions, drugstore medications, heating pads or sharp instruments on your feet
Check your shoes twice a day and shake them out to make sure that there are no small objects in them that cause injury.
Buy new shoes late in the day when your feet are larger. Check how your shoe fits in width, length, back, bottom of heel and sole. Avoid pointed-toe styles and high heels.
Wear shoes and socks that fit well.
Be careful to avoid burns from hot water, pavement, sand, hot water bottles and heating pads. Remember that you may not feel the burn.
Swimming and bicycling are good forms of exercise that are easy on the feet.
If you smoke any form of tobacco, quitting can be one of the best things you can do to prevent problems with your feet
Have your feet checked at least once a year for blood circulation and sensory loss Have surgery to fix deformities such as bunions and hammertoes.
Visit your doctor immediately if you discover-
An ulcer or open sore, no matter how small it is.
An infection in a cut or blister.
Redness, swelling or increased warmth.
Very cold areas or very warm areas in your feet.
Corns or calluses with skin discolorations.
Pain in the legs at rest or while walking.
A change in the size or shape of the foot or ankles.
Unexplained high blood sugar levels.
Important points to remember for any diabetic patients are:
1. Take care of your diabetes.
Keep your blood glucose within a good range.
2. 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.
3. 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.
4. 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.
5. Smooth corns and calluses gently.
If your feet are at low risk for problems, use a pumice stone to smooth corns and calluses.
Do not use over-the-counter products or sharp objects on corns or calluses.
6. If you can see and reach your toenails, trim them each week or when needed.
Trim your toenails straight across and file the edges with an emery board or nail file.
7. Wear shoes and socks at all times.
Never walk barefoot.
Wear comfortable shoes that fit well and protect your feet.
Feel inside your shoes before putting them on each time to make sure the lining is smooth and that there are no objects inside
8. Protect your feet from hot and cold.
Wear shoes at the beach or on hot pavement.
Wear socks at night if your feet get cold.
Don’t test bath water with your feet.
Don’t use hot water bottles or heating pads.
9. Keep the blood flowing to your feet.
Put your feet up when sitting.
Wiggle your toes and move your ankles up and down for 5 minutes, two or three times a day.
Do not cross your legs for long periods of time.
Do not smoke.
10. Be active every day.
Plan your physical activity program with your health care team.
11. Check with your health care team.
Have your doctor or nurse 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 your health care team right away if you find a cut, sore, blister, or bruise on your foot that does not begin to heal after one day.
Follow their advice about foot care.
12. Get started now.
Begin taking good care of your feet today.
Set a time every day to check your feet.
Take Care of Your Feet for a Lifetime.