Patients diagnosed with diabetes should take extra care when it comes to their feet. Diabetes deprives your feet of nutrients and oxygen as it reduces blood flow to your feet. This means that if you have wounds or blisters in your feet, it will take the time to heal.
In addition, peripheral neuropathy- diabetic nerve damage – can result in numbness. You are more likely to get infections and sores if you can’t feel blisters or cuts. If these cuts or blisters are not treated properly and timely, severe infection may happen which can lead to amputation.
How can we prevent this from happening?
These tips will show you on how to give your feet the much-needed tender loving care
Ensure to keep your skin moisturized
Unlike the skin on the rest of our body, the skin on our feet is naturally dry as it does not have oil glands. Our feet solely rely on the thousands of sweat glands to keep it moisturized.
Having a dry skin may lead to itching. If you’re constantly scratching your feet, it can lead to chafing which can cause infection and irritation.
Always keep your skin well-hydrated at all times. Stay hydrated by drinking lots of water. Also applying lotion after a bath will keep your feet soft and well-moisturized. Avoid using products that are too strong, instead use soaps that are mild and ideal for sensitive skin.
Wash Your Feet With Lukewarm Water
Foot pain is one of the most common complaints of patients diagnosed with diabetes. Proper foot care should be a part of your daily care routine to avoid this from happening.
Washing your feet with lukewarm water is important to keep your feet clean at all times. Before putting your feet in warm water, test the temperature first with your elbow or fingers. Burns can easily occur if the water is too hot.
Wash every part of your feet with mild soap. Thoroughly dry your feet afterward, especially the areas between your toes. Moist areas are breeding ground for infections.
Opt for Non-impact Exercises
Diabetics face predicaments when it comes to having a regular exercise. They want to have a daily workout routine however they are limited as they need to consider other conditions that are accompanied by their disease – such as osteoporosis.
The good news is, there are lots of non-impact exercises that are perfect for those that have diabetes. You can have these types of exercises:
- cross country skiing
- ice skating
- body sculpting and balance classes
Skip the Barefoot Look
When you have diabetes, you have to make sure that your feet are protected at all times. Walking barefoot will expose your feet to thousands of viruses and bacteria that can cause infection. Plus, you may walk into a sharp object and get your feet wounded. No matter where you go, always wear comfortable shoes. Even if you’re just chilling in your bedroom, a nice slipper is still necessary.
Keep Your Blood Sugar Under Control
Patients with diabetes should always keep their blood sugar level under control. Having both high and low blood sugar poses a risk to their health.
These strategies below have been proven effective in blood sugar control.
- Having a regular exercise
- Losing a few pounds, especially if you are overweight
- Healthy diet that is rich in fruits and vegetables
- *Taking the prescribed medications religiously
Make Sure Your Shoes Fit Well
Now that we have established that patients with diabetes should not sign up for the barefoot look, the next concern would be making sure that they are not just wearing any shoes, but the right kind of shoes that fit well and give the right protection to their feet.
Wearing shoes that are too tight or too loose may cause skin chafing and irritation.
Prevention is always better than cure and this is highly applicable to complications caused by foot infection or wounds. Proper hygiene and everyday care are the right ingredients to protect you.
Author: Tiffany Watts