Diabetic Foot Care Tips
Foot issues are one of the most common comorbidities for patients in Tucson with diabetes. Swelling,
nerve damage, and decreased sensitivity often make the problems worse – they prevent diabetics from
discovering foot injuries at the onset. Because of this, many diabetic patients are unaware that their feet
are injured until it’s too late. Practicing proper foot care is important for everyone, but it’s especially
important for those with diabetes who want to avoid long-term complications.
Always Wear Proper Footwear
People with diabetes are prone to swelling in their feet, and normal shoes aren’t made to accommodate
this swelling. Diabetics who wear normal shoes will often develop friction or pressure wounds
throughout the day without even knowing. It’s important to wear a roomy, well-fitted diabetic shoe that
will provide the support and space necessary to keep the vulnerable foot secure.
Diabetic shoes often have a larger toe box that will prevent toes from rubbing together, reducing the
potential for friction wounds between the toes. Reinforced heels help to keep the leg straight and extra
depth accommodates comfort insoles or custom orthotics.
Avoid Extreme Temperatures
Since many diabetes patients report decreased sensitivity to extreme temperatures, avoiding them is
best. Anything that is too hot or too cold may not be immediately perceived as such. Hot tubs or ice
packs can cause more problems than they solve. Very hot or very cold temperatures can damage the
skin, causing blisters, scalding, or even frostbite. It’s best to avoid exposure to all extreme temperatures.
Wear Comfortable Socks
Thin socks or socks with seams may not be preferable for diabetics. Thin socks aren’t enough to protect
the skin from the interior of the shoe. Socks with seams may cause indentations or friction wounds. The
best socks for diabetics are thick, soft, padded, seamless socks. They should fit well with no extra room
at the toe, and be free from designs made with itchy thread or fabric that might irritate the skin.
Keep The Feet Clean And Dry
Everyone has dirty feet. Our feet come into contact with the ground, and they sweat. This is completely
normal. Diabetics can’t afford to risk any of the complications that may come with a result of bacteria
breeding in between the toes or through moisture retained in socks. Always keep your feet clean and
dry. Wash them regularly and thoroughly dry them before putting on shoes or socks.
Tend To Injuries And Deformities Immediately
Every minor injury has the potential to become something worse – even if it’s a corn, callous, or bunion.
If you notice something different about your foot, visit a podiatrist immediately. Don’t attempt to use
removal or corrective tools at home. If used incorrectly, they can create injuries that will be exceedingly
difficult to heal. Some diabetic foot health complications may require surgery, and early action will lead
to better outcomes. Follow the advice of a professional.
Check The Feet Every Day
Even with proper foot care, small injuries may occur. Check your feet every day for the beginnings of
wounds or ulcers. Even hangnails and ingrown toenails have early telltale signs. A thorough check every
day can prevent a small issue from turning into a big issue. Many problems can be prevented with early
intervention. If visual or mobility problems prevent you from thoroughly checking your own feet, ask
your caregiver to check for you. It only takes a minute or two, and it can save you a lot of discomfort.
Moisturize Cracked Skin
Many diabetics experience dry, cracked skin on their feet and heels. This can be just as big of an issue as
having wet feet. Dry cracked skin can snag on socks, or dryness can go so deep that the cracks begin to
bleed. Having the feet professionally exfoliated can remove dead skin cells. After exfoliation, a deeply
nourishing moisturizer can revive the skin of the feet. Nourished skin is healthy skin.
Never Go Without Shoes
Being barefoot leaves the feet vulnerable to injuries. Even a small splinter can lead to an infection.
Never go barefoot – even around the house. If you’re walking around, you should be wearing shoes with
a durable and protective sole. Socks won’t provide enough protection from sharp or hard objects you
may step on.
Control Blood Sugar Levels
The best way for diabetes patients to manage their foot health is by controlling their blood sugar.
Sticking to the diet your doctor suggests and properly using all medications, including insulin, will
prevent the majority of complications associated with diabetes. Proper management of the disease will
limit the negative ways it can potentially affect your life.
Keep Your Feet Protected
Tony Martin Limb & Brace in Tucson works with diabetic patients every day. We provide suitable
diabetic footwear and supportive orthotics for patients with diabetes. If you need help managing your
foot health, we’re always here.