If you are living with diabetes, an important aspect of successfully managing this disease is maintaining your foot health. People with diabetes tend to heal more slowly and, as a result, are at a greater risk for infection. Even a simple wound, such as a blister from wearing shoes that are too tight, can cause a severe infection.
Foot problems for those living with diabetes are usually the result of nerve damage or poor blood flow in the foot. Because of this, people living with diabetes need to care for their feet on a daily basis. Poor foot health could lead to serious consequences for diabetics, including amputation.
- Wash your feet daily with mild soap and warm water. Test the water temperature with your hand first. Do not soak your feet. When drying them, pat each foot with a towel and be careful between your toes.
- Use quality lotion to keep the skin of your feet soft and moist, but do not put any lotion between your toes.
- Trim your toenails straight across. Avoid cutting the corners. Use a nail file or emery board. If you find an ingrown toenail, see your doctor.
- Do not use antiseptic solutions, drugstore medications, heating pads or sharp instruments on your feet. Do not put your feet on radiators or in front of a fireplace.
- Always keep your feet warm. Wear loose socks to bed. Do not get your feet wet in the snow or rain. Wear warm socks and shoes in the winter.
- Do not smoke or sit with your legs crossed; both decrease blood supply to your feet.
If you are living with diabetes and are concerned about maintaining your foot health, talk with your primary care physician about a referral to the Foot & Ankle Center at Valley Orthopedic Associates or call VOA at 425-656-5060.
For more information about daily foot care, click here.
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