People suffering from diabetes not just face problems related to sugar levels and other organ dysfunctions but they are also more prone to foot and nail diseases, mainly because of poor blood circulation and nerve damage (neuropathy). While neuropathy leads to the loss of feeling in the feet, poor blood circulation on the other hand, reduces the body's ability to heal even the tiniest wounds. Some of the foot and leg problems generally faced by diabetics are ulcers, infections, calluses, corns, charcot foot, bunions, and hammertoes. Thus, it's imperative to take preventive measures so that these problems are effectively kept at bay. It is very important that people suffering from diabetes should take care of their feet as any injuries can lead to severe consequences. Nowadays, many companies even sell specialized diabetic hand and foot care products that can also be used. Scroll down the article to know more on the daily foot care for diabetics.
Daily Foot Care Guide For Diabetics
Here are some diabetic nail care tips, daily foot care guide for diabetics and feet injury prevention and checks.
Diabetic Nail Care
- Those suffering from diabetes should take extra care in cleaning their feet. They should regularly clean their feet by scrubbing them gently and washing with warm water. After washing the feet, any ointment or cream should be applied. After washing, the feet should be pat dried using a towel. Wounds and infections, if any, should be treated immediately and, if it is serious, it is better to consult a doctor.
- Always keep the feet moisturized. This will prevent the feet from drying and also keep the nails from cracking. However, make sure that you do not apply the moisturizing cream between the toes as this might trigger infections. Diabetics are more prone to infections because of the high sugar level in blood.
- It is always better to cut the nails after taking a bath as they will be soft and easier to clip. Overgrown nails can lead to the accumulation of dirt around the cuticles. So, keeping the nails short is very important. If you have thick or yellowed nails, then you should not trim them yourself and must take the aid of a doctor.
- You should regularly check your feet and toes carefully. Look out for cuts, bruises, swelling, red spots or infected toe nails. You can take the help of someone to do the checking for you if you find difficulty in bending over.
- The shoes or slippers that you put on must fit well and make you comfortable, for even a slight pinch can cause blisters which might take months to heal. So, always invest in good quality and right footwear.
- Indulge in light exercises such as cycling, swimming and tai-chi for improving the feet movement without exerting too much pressure. Or, you can even ask your doctor to prepare a special exercise program based on your health and fitness. When walking or jogging, wear athletic shoes that give your feet good support.
- Besides foot care, it's vital to adopt healthy eating habits and lead a good lifestyle. Eat lots of leafy vegetables and cut down the intake of processed foods as they are loaded with calories and has high sugar content. It would be excellent if you can take the help of a nutritionist to prepare your diet plan.
- Wearing shoes and socks all the time is beneficial for diabetic patients. Even when at home it's advisable to put on socks since walking barefoot can hurt the feet.
Feet Injury Prevention And Checks
- Avoid extreme temperatures. Always use a sunscreen to protect the feet from the sun. Do not let the feet remain wet for long.
- Do not apply heating pad or hot water bottle to feet.
- Avoid smoking as it constricts the blood vessels, hence reduces blood circulation to your legs and feet.
- Every time you visit your doctor ask him to check your feet. Always consult your doctor if you feel any problem in the legs and feet even if minor.
- If the level of blood sugar has increased then consult your doctor immediately as this could be a sign of infection.