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Diabetes Foot Care
Foot care is essential for those with diabetes. This means checking your feet every day for signs of damage, and moisturising with water-free products such as PediSalve.
Foot care and diabetes
When you have diabetes, you will be invited for a foot check every year. However, you need to check your own feet on a daily basis to ensure they are healthy. You are looking for things such as –
- Wounds, such as cuts, grazes and blisters
- Red skin
- Prickly, tingly or burning sensations
- Notably warm or cold feet
- Numbness or loss of sensation
- Warts and fungus
- A build-up of dry, hard or cracked skin
If you find a wound, keep it dry and clean. If it does not heal, or if any of the other symptoms listed above develop, visit your doctor straightaway.
Why is diabetic foot care important?
This is important amongst diabetics, because high blood glucose levels can damage the blood vessels and nerves in the feet. If you get even a small wound, it can take a long time to heal, increasing the risk of a foot ulcer and infection.
Because the nerves are damaged, you may also experience numbness in your feet. This is known as diabetic neuropathy. If you cut your foot, you might not even notice it. If a wound is left untreated, it can quickly lead to infection.
These problems are prevalent amongst diabetes sufferers. Around one in 10 diabetics develop a foot ulcer. For some, their feet become so unhealthy that an amputation is needed.
How to prevent foot problems
To prevent these issues, you must take good care of your feet. Follow our 10 simple steps to protect your feet –
- Check your feet every day for signs of damage
- Treat an injury immediately and seek urgent medical attention if it does not heal
- Wash your feet with lukewarm water and soap
- Dry your feet thoroughly, especially between the toes
- Moisturise your feet with PediSalve
- Cut your toenails frequently, cutting straight across the nail, rather than down the sides (or you could get an ingrown toenail)
- Wear clean socks and well-fitting shoes that keep your feet dry
- Check your shoes for things like stones that might hurt your feet
- Do not walk anywhere barefoot – indoors or outdoors
- Do regular exercise, such as a brisk walk every day
It is also worth noting that high blood glucose levels, high cholesterol levels and smoking all increase the risk of foot-related complications. So, try to keep your blood glucose/cholesterol levels as normal as possible. If you smoke, try to kick the habit.
Extreme heat or cold are also best avoided, as this can lead to further damage in the feet.
Moisturising your feet
When you have diabetes, it is a good idea to moisturise your feet. This prevents your skin from becoming too dry and will reduce the likelihood of an ulcer developing. However, most moisturisers are water-based, which can increase the chance of a fungal infection. Therefore, do not use moisturiser between your toes.
The exception to this rule is if you are using a water-free product, such as PediSalve. This does not provide the moisture needed for fungal growth, making it an ideal foot cream for diabetics. Massaging your feet with PediSalve can also help improve blood circulation.
PediSalve is an award-winning foot cream that has been approved by a diabetic specialist, so you can use it with confidence.
If you are looking for further advice about your foot care, take a look at our Twitter account @DailyFootCheck. We take a keen interest in diabetic foot careand started this account to offer tips, encouragement and support to people living with diabetes.
To speak to us about diabetic foot care, please get in touch. We will be happy to answer any questions.