A Proper Foot Care Plan for Diabetics
While the popular knowledge of diabetes is that diabetics have to check their blood glucose constantly, it is a lesser known fact that diabetics also have to take especially good care of their feet. That’s because diabetes can cause diabetic neuropathy in which nerves in the extremities, most often the feet, are damaged.
This decreased sensation in the feet can lead to skin damage and wounds like contact sores and ulcers. Leaving these sores untreated can lead to gangrenous infections and amputation of the foot or lower leg. That’s why a proper foot care program is vital to diabetics.
First and foremost, a nightly wash of your feet with mild soap and warm (not hot) water prevents fungal or bacterial infections. When you dry, be sure to “pat,” not “rub” as this can irritate the skin. After thoroughly drying your feet, especially between your toes, apply lotion to cracked or dry areas. Avoid putting lotion between your toes as the added moisture is a breeding ground for fungal infections.
You should also examine the tops and bottoms of your feet every day for cracked or dry skin, blisters, cuts, scratches, sores or any other wounds or red, tender spots. You should also check for ingrown toenails,corns and calluses or anything else that could turn into an open sore.
Most of all, just be smart. Protect your feet at all times by never going barefoot. You may also want to invest in socks and footwear made specifically for diabetics that help reduce the occurrence of blisters and sores.
If you have any questions about a wound or how to care for it, schedule an appointment with your doctor or a podiatrist.