Look after yourself and your health with the right kind of foot care.
Diabetics should know that daily body and foot care take a certain amount of effort but is essential for their health to prevent late dermatological complications. The feet and legs are affected by sluggish circulation, because they are farthest away from the heart. Small injuries to sensitive skin heal very slowly or may even develop into open sores. And because the poor circulation affects the nerve endings, they do not signal pain to the brain so that injuries are not immediately noticed.
Proper foot care is especially critical for diabetics because they are prone to foot problems such as:
- Loss of feeling in their feet
- Changes in the shape of their feet
- Foot ulcers or sores that do not heal
Simple daily foot care can prevent serious problems. According to the National Institute of Health, the following simple everyday steps will help prevent serious complications from diabetes:
- Make healthy lifestyle choices to keep your blood sugar close to normal.
- It is very important to monitor your skin changes through daily inspections on leg and feet, and to check for sores, blisters, redness, calluses or other problems.
- Have your feet examined by a doctor or podiatrist at least once a year for changes to the skin, circulation and sensitivity and have any injuries immediately examined to avoid serious complications.
- Plan a daily footbath lasting no more than five minutes at a temperature not over 90 degree. Make sure to dry your feet thoroughly, especially between your toes.
- Strengthen the muscle with daily foot exercises to stimulate the circulation and improve blood supply to the nerves.
- Keep your skin smooth and supple and carefully protect your feet against fungal infection.
- Due to the possible risk of injury do not cut your toenails, file them straight instead.
- Do not wear shoes that are too tight. Leather shoes with enough toe room and a no more 1-1 ½ inch heel are ideal.
- Always buy shoes in the early afternoon when your feet are their normal size.
- Try to wear socks from natural fibres and change them daily.
- Wear shoes and socks at all times to help protect your feet.