Most people tend to take their feet for granted—until they start hurting or stop working! For people with diabetes, though, the stakes are even higher. Elevated blood sugar damages nerves and restricts healing and blood circulation, which means it doesn’t take much for a “little problem” like a cut or corn to become a “big problem,” like an infected ulcer.
Keeping your feet healthy so that you can avoid wounds and live life to the fullest is our top priority. Here are some great tips to keep your diabetic feet happy and healthy:
- Follow your general practitioner’s guidelines for regulating blood sugar and staying healthy, including plans for diet and exercise. The better-managed your diabetes is overall, the less likely wound-causing complications like neuropathy will develop or worsen.
- Do a thorough diabetic foot self-exam every day to identify potential problems early. You can read more about this here.
- Keep your feet clean and soft to avoid skin infections. Wash every day with soap and warm water, and use lotion or moisturizer to prevent dry skin. Consider having at least two pairs of everyday shoes you can rotate through, and use antifungal powder in them as necessary.
- Protect your feet with shoes and socks even when you’re at home to reduce the risk of injury. Seamless socks that don’t irritate your skin are best. Check inside your shoes before you put them on for hidden debris.
- Gently smooth corns and calluses regularly with a pumice stone, if approved by your doctor.
- Keep toenails trimmed, but don’t cut them too short. Also, cut straight across rather than curving corner to corner, this reduces your risk for ingrown nails.
- Keep blood flowing to your feet with gentle stretches and exercises. Avoid sitting cross-legged for too long. Even wiggling your toes for a few minutes at a time, a few times per day can help a lot.
- Get your feet checked by the Advanced Foot & Ankle Specialists team at least once per year. We provide a full examination, screen for diabetic foot complications, perform any necessary maintenance care, and can help you determine whether additional preventative services such as orthotics or diabetic shoes.