4 Diabetes Foot Care Tips
When you have diabetes, caring for your feet is especially important to reduce the risk of injury and infection. There are ways you can gently take care of your feet and minimize injury from simple activities.
Trim Nails When Soft
It is common for diabetics to have thick, brittle nails, which can making trimming difficult or dangerous. Trim your nails weekly to prevent overgrowth and make the process easier. Before trimming your nails, allow your feet to soak as long as necessary to soften the nails. It is easier to trim soft nails and if you find you have ingrown toenails, it is easier to lift the embedded nail from the surrounding skin.
Use Wet Socks To Exfoliate
Keeping your feet soft and smooth is a challenge. Metal files and foot exfoliators can break the skin and increase infection risk. One way to make removing dead skin easier is brush off dead skin after your feet are wet. Soaking your feet for a long time may not be practical and is not always effective when you have several layers of dead skin. Soak an old pair of socks in water and wring out the excess. If you are able to prop up your feet, put on the wet pair of socks for an hour or two to let the water saturate your feet.
When you still need to move around the house, you can try placing a plastic bag over the wet socks and then a dry pair of socks over the plastic bag. Make sure you can walk around safely. The bag will lock in the water and prevent the external layer of socks from getting wet and causing you to slip. Once the dead skin is softened, take an old toothbrush and brush it away. Follow up with your favorite moisturizer.
Check Your Feet Regularly
Check your feet thoroughly to find any abrasions or new corns and calluses. Turn foot checks into part of your shower ritual so you will remember. Unfortunately, diabetic neuropathy can make it difficult or impossible to notice minor or major abrasions to your feet. You will need to visually inspect your feet to make sure there is no damage. Finding new corns or calluses early can make them easier to deal with before they require surgical intervention to remove.
Wear Protection At All Times
You may not like wearing shoes indoors, but protecting your feet when you are walking around the house is essential. Shop around for bedroom slippers or lightweight shoes that are comfortable to wear around the house and have a firm sole to protect the bottom of your feet. Even small accidents inside your home, such as stepping on debris with bare feet can turn into a major infection.
Simple changes to your foot care routine can keep your feet safe. Protecting your feet can reduce the chances of small abrasions turning into major infections. For more information on caring for your feet, contact a podiatrist at a clinic like West Central Podiatry Consultants.