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5 Diabetic Foot Care Tips to Prevent Complications

5 Diabetic Foot Care Tips to Prevent Complications

Diabetes is a disease with far-reaching consequences. Having high levels of blood sugar can damage your blood vessels and impact your circulation. Furthermore, having high glucose levels can also damage your nerves, so you may not perceive sensations in your feet as well as you once did.

Because of these issues, a minor cut could easily become infected and become a serious situation. This is why it’s crucial to take proper care of your feet if you have diabetes.

Andrew Bernhard, DPM, and Kaitlyn Bernhard, DPM, of Tussey Mountain Foot & Ankle Specialists in State College, Pennsylvania, are experts in diabetic foot care, and they want you to stay as healthy as possible. So in this blog, they explain how you can help keep your feet strong and healthy.

1. Perform a daily inspection

At least once each day, look at your feet. Check the tops, bottoms, heels, and between your toes. Make it part of your routine, either in the morning, after showering, or before bed. If it’s difficult, enlist help or use a mirror. 

Look for blisters, scratches, red or raw spots, or swollen areas. Because the blood flow to your feet may be compromised, even a small wound is a cause for concern. 

2. Clean your feet carefully

You probably already wash your feet daily, but do you carefully wash between your toes every time? Do you consciously clean every area of your feet, including the bottoms?

Using warm — not hot — soapy water, carefully clean all parts of your feet, and rinse them thoroughly. Then, dry them completely. If your feet remain damp, you raise your risk for infection. 

3. Moisturize! 

Hard, thickened skin can easily become dry and cracked, which can put you at risk for infection and wounds that won’t heal properly. To avoid cracks or fissures, use lotion daily on the tops and bottoms of your feet. 

Be extra careful to moisturize your heels, which is where skin is most likely to thicken, harden, and crack. However, don’t put lotion between your toes. 

4. Protect your feet with shoes and socks

Even when you’re at home, you should wear socks and shoes to protect your feet. Stubbing your toe or scraping your foot could lead to a wound that won’t heal. Go barefoot only when you bathe. If you want to wear slippers at home for comfort, find ones that will cover your feet. 

And, when you purchase shoes, make sure they are comfortable, have plenty of room for your toes, and don’t rub any part of your foot. Before you put them on each day, shake them out or reach inside to make sure there are no small stones or other objects in them.

Furthermore, no matter how tempting it may be, don’t walk barefoot when it’s hot. And, when it’s cold, make sure you keep your feet warm and dry. 

5. Move for good blood flow

Since circulation can be a problem, it’s important to move your feet often throughout the day. Wiggle your toes, pat your feet against the floor, do ankle rolls, or do other small movements to keep your blood flowing.

If you sit for long periods, try to get up and move at regular intervals, or prop your feet on a stool. Try to take at least one walk each day, or ideally, take several brief walks throughout the day. 

Also, smoking is very bad for blood circulation. If you still smoke, make a plan to quit. 

Bonus tip

You should also make sure to come to our office for regular checkups. It’s important for your podiatrist to monitor your feet, so they can take action if anything occurs.

If you have diabetes and want great monitoring and care for your feet, call 814-831-7565 or book an appointment online with Tussey Mountain Foot & Ankle Specialists today.

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