How to Take Care of Your Feet If You’re Diabetic

How to Take Care of Your Feet If You’re Diabetic

High blood sugar can ravage your body and do damage in unexpected places, like your feet. Diabetic foot care is necessary if you have either type of diabetes because of the increased risk of foot complications that come with the condition, like infections and ulcers. Even something as simple as looking over your feet once a day before bed can dramatically reduce your chances of experiencing a complication from diabetes involving your feet. 

Michael Ruiz, DPM, our podiatrist at Lake Erie Podiatry in Erie, Pennsylvania, provides professional care and advice to help you avoid any foot complications from diabetes and the costs that come with them. 

Since even a small cut in your foot can lead to a long-term foot wound prone to infections, diligent foot care is crucial. Here’s how we recommend taking care of your feet if you’re diabetic.

Know what to look for

Your podiatrists and physicians have likely encouraged you to inspect your feet every day. Here are a few features and injuries that may be of concern:

When glancing at your feet, many of these features might not seem like much of a big deal. Yet, if you have diabetes, you can go for an extensive length of time without the knowledge of such seemingly small problems. This is because of diabetic neuropathy, a complication that causes numbness, tingling, and other neurological sensations in your feet. Furthermore, inadequate blood flow to your feet can leave small injuries growing and festering, becoming larger and more infection-prone by the day. 

Keep your feet clean

Even if you don’t shower or bathe every day, you should make sure your feet do if you’re diabetic. Be gentle with your feet, and use lukewarm water rather than hot. You should use a soft sponge or cloth to clean between your toes. 

When it comes to drying your feet, be thorough: Pat your feet dry instead of scrubbing them. Cover your dry feet with dry socks and use only clean pairs.

Keeping your feet as fresh as possible at all times is important if you’re diabetic because infectious bacteria and other pathogens can enter the skin on your feet through the cracks and ultimately cause an infection. For the same reason, you should never go barefoot. 

Groom your toenails well

Overgrown toenails are hotbeds of infectious bacteria. You should cut your toenails shortly after cleaning your feet, while the nails are still soft. Always cut them straight across, but not too short. Cutting your toenails properly helps prevent ingrown toenails that open the door for diabetic foot infections. 

Follow your diabetes treatment plan

You can further reduce your risk of experiencing diabetic foot complications by managing your diabetes in the first place. One of the main suggestions from diabetes care providers, alongside smoking cessation and diet changes, is regular exercise. This helps improve blood circulation in your feet, which reduces the risk of ulcers. 

You should aim for 30 minutes a day unless you have a cut or sore on one of your feet. Be sure to choose comfy, well-fitting athletic shoes for your workouts that don’t constrict your feet or jam your toes. 

If you’re diabetic, you should familiarize yourself with podiatrist-recommended foot care. Schedule an appointment over the phone or online at Lake Erie Podiatry today.

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