Diabetes presents dangers for your feet, leaving you at a higher risk for developing an infection or encountering other serious complications from even the slightest of wounds. This is because diabetes can cause nerve damage and loss of feeling in your feet, as well as a reduction in blood flow that makes it more difficult for your body to heal wounds.
With that said, there are preventative measures you can practice to keep your feet in good shape. Follow these diabetic foot care tips to prevent wound development and complications:
Inspect your feet daily
Check your feet at least once a day for dry skin, cracks, blisters, red spots and sores. Everyday Health advised placing a mirror on the floor to help you see under your feet more clearly. Talk to your doctor immediately if you notice any signs of wound development.
Be gentle when washing your feet
Wash your feet every day in lukewarm water. The American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons suggested using a soft washcloth or sponge to wash your feet, and then carefully patting them dry. Be sure to dry between the toes as any trapped moisture can encourage foot ulcer development.
Trim your toenails weekly
Cut your nails straight across with nail clippers and use a file to smooth the edges. Be careful not to cut them too short as it could lead to ingrown toenails, according to ACFAS.
Don’t go barefoot
Always protect your feet – even if you’re inside your house. Wear clean, dry socks and be sure to change them daily. Remember to shake out your shoes and feel inside before putting them on, just in case there’s a loose pebble, wood chip or another object you’ll need to remove.
Wear diabetes-friendly shoes and socks
Everyday Health advised purchasing shoes and socks designed for patients with diabetes. They provide more coverage, padding and support, plus they’re made from materials that control moisture.
Manage your diabetes
Keep your blood sugar levels under control to prevent additional complications, such as worsening neuropathy.
If you develop a foot wound, talk to your doctor about smartPAC by Advanced Tissue to get your diabetic wound care supplies delivered straight to your front door. With video tutorials and single-dose packaging, smartPAC makes it easy to practice proper wound care at home.