Diabetes can be particularly dangerous to the feet, causing nerve damage, loss of feeling, foot ulcers and serious infections which can lead to amputation of the toes or foot. If you have recently been diagnosed with, or care for someone with diabetes, make sure you are doing all you can to protect feet and keep toes healthy too.
Keep Your Feet Protected and Free From Minor Injuries
Little knocks and scrapes or cuts and blisters that many of us might shrug off are potentially the start of something serious for diabetes sufferers.
You should do everything you can to ensure that your feet aren’t damaged or hurt in anyway. This should include:
- Wearing comfortable shoes that don’t rub, chafe or pinch – always wear socks!
- Never walking barefoot if you are able to avoid it (Especially outdoors!)
- Check your shoes for stones, grit or loose laces before you put them on
- Choose shoes that are well lined or padded – try running shoes with cushioned insoles
Get Into a Good Care Routine
To keep the skin on your feet healthy you should get into a good foot care routine. As a diabetic who is vulnerable to infections you should take much more care over washing and cleaning your feet. Just standing in the shower isn’t quite enough. Every day you should pay special attention to bathing and washing your feet with soap. Make sure that you always dry your feet properly with a soft towel, and once they’re dry, apply a light moisturiser to the tops of your feet, soles of your feet and particularly your heels. You may need a richer moisturiser for your heels. Never moisturise between the toes.
There are two ways you should be keeping trim as a diabetic to help your feet. Keeping your body weight down is important, not only for your overall health, but it will also lessen the weight that your feet have to bear each day.
Keeping your toenails trim is equally as important as keeping your waistline trim. Always cut your toenails in a square to avoid snagging edges and don’t cut them too short. Diabetics should avoid visiting beauty salons for pedicures as there is quite a high risk of infection if tools have not been sanitised properly.
Because diabetes can affect blood flow to the toes, it’s common for your feet to feel cold. That’s why it’s important to keep them toasty and warm with a nice pair of slippers. In the winter fleecy boot style slippers are particularly warm, and in the summer open toe or loafer style work well.
Always make sure that you keep your feet dry. In autumn and winter when it’s particularly rainy, make sure your shoes are waterproof – wellies or walking boots are best!
In the summer, make sure your shoes are breathable – there are some great boat shoe style designs or rubber clog styles that have holes on top or inside that let air circulate through for fresh feet.
If you are still concerned about your feet or are looking for more advice you can always book an appointment with one of our knowledgeable and friendly podiatrists.