If you are diabetic, then taking care of your feet is extremely important. Over time diabetes can cause nerve damage and decreased blood flow to your feet. This results in poor sensation in your feet meaning that you can easily step on something like a tack or a small rock and not even feel it. When blood flow is limited, it is very difficult for your body to heal a small puncture, scratch, or blister. Gone unnoticed, these wounds that started out as minor issues can spread, become infected, and ultimately result in the need for amputation of toes, the end of the foot, or even the entire lower leg. Diabetes and foot care can truly be a matter of being able to walk versus being confined to a wheelchair.
Besides the traditional advice to control your blood sugar, quit smoking, and exercise, here are some things that you can begin doing today to take better care of your feet.
Wash and thoroughly dry your feet
- Do this often as you can, preferably daily.
Always wear proper footwear.
- I mean ALWAYS, even when you get up at night to go to the bathroom. Even when you’re at the pool. Even when you’re in the hospital…. At the very least, purchase a pair of house shoes that has a hard sole but is easy to slip on and wear around the house at night. (Disclaimer: I get commissions for purchases made through links in this post.)
Inspect your feet daily
- You need do this to make sure that you haven’t stepped on anything and that all your skin is intact. Look for dry and/or cracked skin, blisters, scratches, ingrown toenails, etc. If needed, use a long handled mirror to get a good view of all parts of both feet or have someone else take a look for you. Get in the habit of doing this every single day. If you notice anything out of the ordinary, contact your doctor.
See a podiatrist.
- They can keep your toenails trimmed and treat calluses. They can also fit you for shoe inserts and prescribe special diabetic shoes.
Aside from completing good foot care, there are several other things that can be done to improve the overall safety of older adults in their home. Sign up below and I’ll send a list of 10 easy, free things that you can be done today.