One of the ways to take care of your feet when you have diabetes is being proactive about foot care and preventing problems before they occur. There are several things you can do to take better care of your feet.
Do Daily Checks
Daily checks are critical to identify problems when they are in the early stages, before they are harder to treat. If you have trouble reaching your feet, find someone who can check for you. Since many diabetics have neuropathy, they may grow accustomed to unusual sensations in their feet or they may not notice significant problems that can become life-threatening if they have little sensation in their feet. Daily checks allow you to notice if there are any new abrasions that need to be checked by a doctor or if there is an usual color or smell that could be indicative of infection or tissue necrosis.
Only See Your Podiatrist
Diabetics should not see a pedicurist for routine care of their feet. The only person that should care for their feet is a podiatrist. A podiatrist can safely address common concerns, such as trimming the toenails and shaving corns or calluses. Having these services done by a pedicurist can be hazardous because the tools they use may cause abrasions. Another concern is removing hardened skin from calluses since diabetics may have ulcerations under these calluses. Your podiatrist might recommend safer ways of addressing dry or hardened skin on your feet, such as the daily application of lotion.
Wear Recommended Footwear
It is important to have your feet measured at least annually because the size of your feet can change as you grow older. Wearing properly fitting shoes can reduce the chances of your shoes causing you to develop corns and calluses or causing other irritation to your feet. You may also need special shoes and/or orthotics recommended by your podiatrist if you already have foot concerns. Specialty products can reduce pressure on foot deformities, such as bunions or hammertoes, and can prevent exacerbation of calluses. Your podiatrist might also recommend compression stockings if you experience foot or leg swelling. It is safer to buy only the compression stockings that your podiatrist recommends because poorly fitting compression stockings can cause ulcers on the legs if they are too tight or may not offer enough compression if they are loose.
Diabetic foot care starts with being proactive about your feet. Many problems and complications associated with diabetes can be prevented by taking control of your blood glucose and proper foot care.
To learn more about diabetic foot care, contact a podiatrist.