Type 2 Diabetes Guide

Diabetes Foot Care - Self-Care Tips for Healthy Feet

A comprehensive plan doesn't just address controlling blood sugar levels, but also how to manage the other that come with having . Diabetics often have poor circulation which can cause many foot problems. Proper can prevent or alleviate these problems, as well as prevent additional complications. Here are a few tips for healthy feet.

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  • Control your blood sugar levels. damage nerve cells and usually affects the feet first.

  • Check your feet every day. Look for changes in color, shape and loss of sensitivity. Note if there is any numbness, or if there is any redness, and whether new have developed.

  • Wash & dry your feet daily. Keep the skin moisturized with lotion. Consider using a lotion or skin cream designed for people with diabetes. Ensure that your feet are dry before putting on socks so that fungus does not have a chance to spread.

  • Trim & file your toenails. Look for nail clippers for diabetics, which are designed to minimize the risk of injury. Avoid long toenails as they are prone to breaking and infection. Sharp toenails may cut sensitive skin, especially when compressed within a shoe.

  • Get plenty of physical . Controlling your weight and blood pressure is part of a diabetes treatment plan. Exercise may prevent or slow peripheral arterial disease (narrowing or blocking of the blood vessels in the feet by fatty deposits). Any type exercise can help, and even short periods of exercise are beneficial. Walk, hike, swim, do aqua-aerobics, dance, take an exercise class, join a fun sports league, weight-train or circuit-train, or play a silly game of tag with the kids. You can even buy yoga, zumba, Tai Chi, or other exercise DVDs to use in the comfort of your own home.

  • Check inside your shoe before slipping in your foot. Empty any pebbles and straighten the tongue to avoid pressure points.

  • Do not allow your feet to get too hot or too cold. In temperature extremes, protect your feet from the elements. Wear shoes at the beach to avoid sunburn, wear boots in the snow to avoid frostbite.

  • Break in your new . If you feel a hot spot on your foot, this is the first sign of a blister. Stop and adjust that part of the shoe.

  • . Smoking constricts small blood vessels in the body and decreases the blood flow to the feet. This makes healing much slower, and over time foot problems may worsen and make amputation a necessity.

  • Never go barefoot. Wounds and cuts tend to heal more slowly in diabetics. Look for comfortable, cushioned shoes as well as for diabetic socks that are non-binding and made of materials to help keep feet dry.

  • Have your doctor check your feet every visit.

Being alert to signs that something may be wrong with your feet is very important for diabetics. Here is one woman's story:

If you notice cuts, foot ulcers or nail problems that won't heal, have your doctor check and treat them. Mention any changes in color of the skin, shape of the foot, poor circulation, or other issues. Your healthcare provider will be able to tell if peripheral or focal is advancing or if blood circulation is poor. He or she may recommend a visit to a podiatrist for further treatment or injury prevention advice. Good diabetes foot care is an important part of .



The information on this website is based on our own research and personal experience, and is not a substitute for medical advice. Questions about your health and individual situation should be directed to your doctor.