Diabetes is a disease that affects thousands of people, often causing a variety of medical issues, including many foot and ankle issues, especially when their diabetes is not under proper control.
If you suffer from diabetes, it is important that you understand how diabetes affects your foot’s health, ensuring that you are following your podiatrist care instructions, as well as the following tips:
Wash and moisturize your feet daily: Cleaning your feet daily, with a bar of mild soap and lukewarm water is key to ensuring the proper health of your feet, ensuring you are drying them thoroughly, especially in between the toes. By moisturizing daily, you can better keep dry skin from cracking, which can be dangerous in contracting infections. However, avoid putting lotion between your toes, since this too may cause an infection.
Trim your toenails regularly: Regularly trimming your toenails is important in ensuring your feet and toenails are healthy. Be sure to cut your toenails straight across, avoiding the corners and ingrown toenails.
Never self-treat: It is critical that you never attempt to treat corns or calluses on your own. You may risk serious infection when doing so, so it is imperative that you call your podiatrist for proper treatment.
Keep your feet comfortable: Protecting diabetic feet from the elements, such as heat and cold, as well as hot water, is very important. Be sure to wear socks or the right footwear in order to ensure they aren’t too warm or cold.
Wear supportive and comfortable shoes: Not only should your shoes be comfortable, but they must be supportive, avoiding going barefoot at all costs. Without the right support or wearing any shoes at all, you risk potential injuries to your feet, which can cause major issues for people with diabetes.
Keep the blood flowing: It is important that you elevate your feet when sitting, avoiding sitting cross-legged, which can restrict the blood flow to your feet and legs. It is also important to stay active, promoting blood flow to your extremities.
Perform regular checks: Inspect your feet every day, checking for cuts, redness, swelling as well as any issues you may be having with your toenails. If you notice anything unusual, or even the slightest change in your feet, contact your podiatrist immediately.
Avoid smoking: Smoking restricts blood flow to the feet, which is very dangerous for people with diabetes. This makes avoiding smoking critical in properly caring for diabetic feet.
If you have diabetes, it is important that you visit your podiatrist regularly in order to ensure your feet are healthy. For help with your foot and ankle issues and to schedule a consultation, contact the Foot and Ankle Specialists of Illinois today.