If you are suffering from diabetes, you need to take particularly good care of your feet in order to prevent injuries and infections. Diabetics often suffer from nerve damage that can cause numbness in the feet. When the feet are numb, injuries are more likely to go unnoticed. Diabetics also commonly suffer from poor circulation, which slows healing and increases the risk of infection. Combined, nerve damage and poor circulation can lead to more serious conditions. In fact, diabetics have the highest risk of amputation.
Fortunately, there are precautions that can be taken to prevent injuries. And if an injury does occur, prompt treatment can help ensure that more serious conditions are avoided.
Foot ailments affecting diabetics
Diabetics may suffer from foot ailments including:
- Foot ulcers.
- Numbness due to nerve damage.
- Poor circulation.
Tips for diabetics
Keeping diabetes under control can help prevent poor circulation and nerve damage, which is often the cause of more serious foot conditions. If you already have poor circulation and nerve damage as a result of diabetes, there are steps that can be taken to prevent foot ailments.
The first step is to set aside time daily to check your feet for cuts or sores. If any sores are found they should be treated right away to prevent infection. If the wound does not heal or begins to look infected, it is important to seek medical treatment to prevent a more serious condition.
Other preventative measures include:
- Keeping the toe nails trimmed so they do not cut the skin.
- Moisturizing your feet every day to prevent dry, cracked skin.
- Not smoking, as smoking can harden the arteries; this only adds to the problem of poor circulation and slows healing.
- Raising your feet when sitting so they are even with the hips, as this can help to improve circulation.
- Staying active by doing light exercise, such as walking, every day to increase circulation.
- Testing bath water before stepping in to avoid burning your feet.
- Using a pumice stone to remove dry skin and smooth calluses.
- Washing your feet in warm water every day and being sure to dry them completely, especially between the toes.
- Wearing comfortable shoes in order to prevent blisters and sores on your feet.
- Wearing socks and shoes at all times to protect your feet and prevent cuts.
As a diabetic, it is important to pay attention to the health of your feet. If you have any questions about proper foot health and maintenance as a diabetic, please contact your doctor for guidance.