Diabetes & Foot Care: All You Need to Know
Did You Know?
Diabetes can harm your body in many ways. This condition can affect your feet adversely. Even if you have a small cut, you will have to take extra caution to ensure complete healing at the minimum possible time. Otherwise, it can lead to severe consequences. Diabetic nerve pain and diabetic foot ulcer can damage the nerves and even worsen the condition. Diabetic foot problems should always be managed with care since this health condition might reduce blood flow to your feet making the healing slow and difficult. When a nerve is damaged, you might not feel a minor injury and develop blisters. If the infection is serious, amputation might be the only option.
Why Is Diabetic Foot Care Important?
Diabetes or nerve damages make it difficult to heal diabetic ulcers and any other injury. As a result, you might experience a Charcot foot. This is more common in diabetes patients. Also, the blood circulation will be less and that will affect the healing process. You will have to avoid all diabetic foot complications. This is possible with regular foot care. Also, a healthy lifestyle is important for a healthy foot. Focus on regular medical exams, follow a healthy diet, and do regular exercises to maintain your overall well being and foot health.
What Are Common Diabetic Foot Problems?
Anyone can have foot problems. But if you are a diabetic, you will come to the risk category. All the common and minor problems can be dangerous for a diabetic. Therefore, you will have to take extra caution to avoid all the following foot complications. Some common diabetic foot problems are fungal infections, athlete’s foot, calluses, corns, blisters, bunions, dry skin, diabetic ulcers, ingrown toenails, hammertoes, and plantar warts. A diabetic and even healthy people can experience all these foot problems. However, healthy people might not take longer for recovery.
How to Avoid A Diabetic Foot Problem
Prevention is always better than cure. Here prevention is the only way to avoid any serious complication. You will have to give daily effort to maintain your feet. The followings are a few things that you can consider to boost your feet' health.
You will have to inspect your feet daily. If you inspect daily, you can notice the cut, swelling, redness, dryness, or any other thing at the early stage. Once you notice any complication, address it immediately. You should never ignore any type of diabetic foot pain.
Use lukewarm water to clean your foot daily. You should always avoid hot water. Use a sponge or a soft washcloth to clean your feet and also dry your feet gently.
You will have to moisturize your feet daily to prevent itching and dryness. But avoid moisturizing between your toes since excess moisture might cause a fungal infection.
While cutting your nails, you need to be a bit careful. Do not make your nails too short. Short nails will be prone to ingrown nails.
Wear clean and dry socks specifically designed for the diabetic foot. These socks come with extra cushioning and made of fiber to absorb moisture from your skin. You can wear socks at night to protect your feet from cold.
Keep your feet always dry and warm and never walk barefoot.
Avoid smoking as it restricts blood flow and also consider regular foot exam.
How to Recognize the Foot Problems
As stated earlier, a diabetic should daily check his/her feet to find out any sign of infection or injury. If you see any change in the skin color or skin temperature, then there might be something wrong. Your foot pain, foot swelling, open sores, ingrown tonsils, dryness, cracks, or foot odor should be taken seriously. No foot problem is minor for a diabetes patient. An untreated foot problem can lead to severe complications including abscess, bone infection, deformities, gangrene, Charcot foot, or amputation.
Do I Need to Consult an Expert for Diabetic Foot Treatment?
Yes, you need to visit your doctor even for a minor foot problem that might be foot pain, a minor cut, or dry feet. These conditions are not serious and might be healed within a few days. However, you might develop a severe complication when it does not heal fast. So, never try any home remedy to treat calluses or corns. Take an appointment straight away and follow all the instructions carefully.