Foot Care: The Top 5 Tips
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Diabetes and your feet
- By damaging the nerves in your feet (a condition called peripheral neuropathy), diabetes can either give you extreme foot pain, or can make your feet go numb. That makes it harder for you to notice if your feet are blistered or cut – so there’s a risk that those wounds could become infected.
- By reducing blood flow to your feet, diabetes can make it more difficult for any cuts, sores, or blisters to heal properly – again, increasing the risk of serious infections.
Tip 1: Build a foot care kit
So you know that foot care is important with diabetes, but how exactly should you go about doing it? Well, every good journey starts with a good first step, and yours should be to put together a kit of supplies that you’ll need for your daily foot care routine.
What should you include in your foot care kit?
Keeping everything you need for foot care in one convenient kit will make it easier for you to care for your feet every day … even if you’re travelling.
Tip 2: Inspect your feet daily
- Dry or cracking skin
- Cuts or sores
- Corns or calluses
- Swelling or redness
- Ingrown or infected toenails
Tip 3: Wash your feet daily
Keeping your feet clean is a good way to help prevent infection. But it’s important to follow some key rules when washing your feet, so you won’t make any foot problems worse.
Wash your feet in warm water, NOT HOT WATER. Water that’s too hot can cause stress on your skin, and may cause a burn. 32-35°C (90-95°F) is a safe temperature. If you don’t have a thermometer to test it with, use your elbow (not your feet) to check: it shouldn’t feel “hot” to the touch.
Wash, DON’T SOAK. Soaking your feet can lead to a potential breakdown of the integrity of your skin. If you do bathe rather than shower, make sure not to keep your feet under water for too long.
Dry your feet thoroughly. Towel off gently but well, especially between the toes. If you have trouble keeping the areas between your toes dry, applying some talcum powder or corn starch after you wash can help.
Apply a lotion after you wash. But only to the tops and bottoms of your feet around your heels … not between your toes. Rub the lotion on your feet gently, and keep another towel handy to wipe away any excess lotion.
Tip 4: Keep your nails trimmed
Letting your toenails grow too long can cause problems – both to your toenails and to the toes around them. That’s why keeping them trimmed and tidy is important.
Some trimming tips to bear in mind:
Don’t trim your nails too short. Cutting them too close can cause wounds or lead to ingrown nails when they grow back.
Trim your nails straight across. Curving them in at the corners can also lead to ingrown nails.
Use a nail file or emery board after you trim, to smooth away any sharp edges.
If you have trouble seeing your toes, or if your toenails are yellowed, thick or curve inward, see a foot specialist who can trim them for you.
Tip 5: Always wear shoes and socks
We think that going barefoot in the grass on a summer day can be fun … but it can also be dangerous for your feet. Getting a cut from a sharp object or getting dirt in an existing cut is no fun at all. Even when you’re indoors, wearing socks as well as shoes or slippers is essentially to keeping your feet safe.
Clean, comfortable socks are the best way to start. Remember:
Comfortable, good-fitting shoes are just as essential. Remember:
- equateTM/MC Diabetic Meal Replacement
This information should not be used as a substitute for the medical care and advice of your doctor. There may be variations in treatment that your physician may recommend based on individual facts and circumstances. If you have questions about your symptoms, ask the Pharmacist at Walmart for more information, and/or contact your doctor.
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