Foot Health in Diabetes: Simple ways to look after your feet!

If you have diabetes, you’ll know how important it is to look after your feet to minimise your risks of infection, ulceration and at its worst, amputation. If you’re unfamiliar with the way that diabetes affects your feet, you can read about it here:

So what quick and easy things can you be doing to look after your feet to maximise your foot health? Here are 6 you can start doing today!

1. Check your feet every day

It can take less than 30 seconds but it can stop a cut from turning into a non-healing ulcer. Have a look over the tops of your feet and make sure there’s nothing there that’s new or unusual. If you can bend you feet up and check the bottom, then do so. If you can’t bend your feet up, hold them to a mirror. If you have a cut, take note of how long it takes to heal and to close over. Cuts are only open to infection for as long as they’re open, so make sure they seal. This should naturally happen within a day. If it takes longer than a couple of days, let your GP know. Make sure to check between your toes and if you can’t check your feet yourself, get a family member to help.

2. Wear shoes inside and outside

The best way to protect your shoes from cuts, scratches and anything else is to wear shoes and socks inside and out! When you’re inside, opt for slippers and when you’re outside, go for shoes with covered toes and a covered back as will protect you feet from anything sharp lying on the ground or that may scratch your foot as you walk past. It’s all about reducing the risk!

3. Make sure your water is not too hot

With a dulled sensation, you may not be able to feel temperatures that are very hot and end up burning the skin! Any damage to the skin will heal slower and is vulnerable to further complications. Be careful – you may also not be able to feel extremely cold temperatures either.

4. Moisturise daily – but watch the toes

Dry skin impairs the sensation that’s available even further. This is why it’s important to moisturise daily if your feet are feeling dry, but watch the toes! Too much moisture between the toes can have the opposite effect as the space between toes is often tight, trapping moisture and instead damaging the skin if left over time.

5. Check your shoes

Check that your shoes are a good fit and that they’re not rubbing anywhere they shouldn’t be and damaging the skin. Because in diabetes you can lose the ability to feel if a shoe is rubbing, it’s important to take the time to get it right when purchasing the shoe. This helps to reduce the risk of avoidable and long-healing ulcers.

6. Keep your toenails short and tidy

This is all about minimising risk. The shorter the toenails, the less risk of scratching yourself in bed or having your nail caught on something and pulled. If you have any corns or cracks in the skin, let your podiatrist know so they can take care of them for you.

While these may seem like pretty simple and straightforward, they can genuinely make a massive impact on your foot health. You never know when that 10 seconds you took to identify a cut and inform your GP that it was slow healing saved you months of battling with an ulcer or an infection. To find out more about diabetes and your feet, and to get the best care for your feet, come in and see our expert team at Sole Motion Podiatry. We’re experts in diabetic foot care and will help you put your best foot forward!

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