With summer just around the corner,
you are likely getting out the flip flops and sandals. Proper foot care is very
important for anyone with diabetes. But
before you bare your feet this summer, let's talk about proper foot care.
What about my feet?
Neuropathy, one of the long-term complications of diabetes, in simple terms
means damage to the nerves. There are many different types of neuropathies.
Peripheral neuropathy can cause loss of feeling, pain, burning or tingling
in the hands or feet. Think about this…if you step on a tack and don’t have
feeling in your feet you may not notice it until you have an infection. This is
what may lead to a toe or foot amputation.
The best way to prevent neuropathy is to control your blood glucose
Steps to healthy feet
1. Inspect your feet daily
This means a good look at both your
feet; including the top, sides, bottom and between the toes. Be on the
lookout for any calluses, blisters, cuts or signs of infection such as redness or
swelling. See your doctor or a podiatrist if you have any concerns about your
2. Keep your feet clean and moisturized
Wash and thoroughly dry your feet
every day. Check the temperature of the bath or shower with your elbow before
stepping in to avoid any burns. Also,
it's important to avoid dry skin to prevent calluses and skin cracks. Use
lotion on the top and bottom of the feet but not between the toes where it
could create a moist environment for fungus to grow.
3. Wear proper fitting shoes
You know a shoe fits well when there
is support and it feels comfortable. Ladies, think about those high-heel
Cut toenails straight across
If toenails are cut at an angle, this
could cause an ingrown toenail.
Don’t go barefoot
Even at the beach, pool or in your own
home, always wear some type of shoes when walking. Closed-toe shoes with a hard
protective sole are best. If sunbathing,
don’t forget to apply sunscreen to your feet.
If you have any concerns, always ask
your doctor. I tell my patients to take off their
shoes and socks when they go to the doctor as a good reminder for your doctor to do a foot exam.
Make good foot care a daily habit for happy healthy feet.