Diabetes is a condition that requires a lot of self-care. One area of your body that needs a lot of care if you are diabetic is your feet.
Diabetes puts your feet at higher risk because it can cause nerve damage, poor blood circulation and make you prone to infections.
To help you look after your feet, here are our most important yet basic foot care tips for diabetics from the podiatrists at our Sydney foot clinic.
Basic Foot Care Tips For Diabetics
1. Regulate Your Blood Sugar
Trying to monitor and stabilise your blood sugar will help you remain healthy overall and reduce your risk of developing other medical issues.
Take your GP’s advice at all times and follow their recommendations to maintain your blood sugar at the best levels possible.
If you’ve been prescribed medicine – take it as prescribed! This is one of our pet peeves as podiatrists. If your GP has given you medication to help control your diabetes, it can make a huge difference if you follow their advice.
2. Check Your Feet Daily
Giving your feet a daily check is highly recommended for diabetics.
Check for swelling, redness, blisters, bruising, cuts, changes to your foot shape, cracked skin, nail discolouration, and ingrown toenails.
3. Keep Your Feet Clean & Dry
Wash your feet every day and make sure that they are properly dried.
Moisture around the feet and toes can lead to infections.
4. Keep Toenails Trimmed
Trim your toenails regularly to prevent ingrown toenails.
Make sure to trim them straight across and file any sharp edges gently with a nail file.
5. Moisturise Your Feet
Moisturise the top and bottom of your feet to keep them soft and smooth.
Avoid moisturising in between your toes to prevent unwanted infections.
6. Smooth Corns & Callouses
If you notice any corns or callouses, file them gently with a pumice stone.
If they do not go away, speak to your podiatrist before they develop further.
7. Avoid Going Barefoot
Keep your feet healthy by wearing socks and /or shoes at all times.
If you walk around barefoot there is a higher risk of injuring your feet or picking up an infection.
8. Ensure Good Blood Flow To Your Feet
By ensuring your feet have good blood flow to them, you can keep them healthy, even with diabetes.
Signs of poor blood circulation include cramps, foot pain, cold feet, colour changes and cuts that take a long time to heal.
When sitting, keep your feet elevated. Perform regularly small movements or exercises with your feet and toes. Don’t cross your legs for long periods of time as this can stop blood circulation.
9. Quit Smoking
Smoking can cause deterioration in blood circulation around your body.
Quitting smoking if you are a diabetic is very important for good foot health, not to mention general health too.
10. Stay Active
Keeping active with low impact exercise helps to keep your blood circulation to your feet. Walking is low impact and very good for diabetics to undertake.
Speak to your doctor or podiatrist about other activities that may be suitable for you.
11. See Your Podiatrist Regularly
By seeing your podiatrist regularly, they are able to monitor your foot health as well.
They may notice slight changes that you wouldn’t, and these can be addressed before they become a bigger health problem.
12. Consider Orthotics
If you’re diabetic, speak to your podiatrist about custom orthotics. They can help make your footwear more comfortable if you are struggling with off-the-shelf shoes.
13. Watch Out For Warning Signs
Monitor your foot health for any slight or sudden changes – numbness, cold legs, tingling, burning pains or pains during the night should be reported back to your health care team including your GP and your podiatrist.
If you’re diabetic, follow these basic foot care tips for diabetics to keep your feet in the best shape possible.
Need a podiatrist that understands your condition? Our Sydney foot clinic offers diabetic foot assessments and can help you take better care of your feet.
Book an appointment with us today or find out more by calling us on 02 9029 7423.