Foot Care For Diabetics

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Image Credits: Times of India

“The really important thing is not to live, but to live well… and to live well means the same thing as to live honourably or rightly.” - Socrates

Diabetes is just a word, not a sentence to a miserable life. While the treatment can be potentially dangerous, as a patient, you can actually look at it as a means to improve your ability to take care of yourself. Studies have shown that stress induces illness, so if you put yourself in a situation where you reverse the root causes of your conditions, you will heal. 

Diabetes and Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD) 

Diabetes and Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD) often go hand in hand. As a cardiovascular condition, with induced restriction of the blood vessels, many diabetics often develop a condition known as peripheral neuropathy. Patients that have peripheral neuropathy often lose sensations in their extremities, and in the instances of any cuts or bruises on the body, patients may not be aware of them, and ulcers can ultimately develop. With time, the ulcer can become infected. PAD is the ultimate breeding ground for amputation. 

Foot Care for Diabetics 

There are a few key activities, which will lead to great foot health. As with all things, prevention is better than cure. The following should be part of your pamper routine if you’re a diabetic: 

  1. Daily Foot Inspection: Take good care, and take the time to inspect your feet at one specified time each day. This could be in the evening once you are getting ready for bed. After your shower, you can take the time to check your feet for any bruises, swelling or ingrown toenails that can affect the health of your feet. A great tool to have is a hand held mirror, so that you can see the base of your feet, and the back of your heels. If you still can’t manage, you can use this as an opportunity to have your partner or your children check for you. 

  2. Lukewarm Baths: The more you nurture yourself, the better you’ll feel and the more that you’ll heal. Warmth improves your blood’s circulation. With a daily wash of your feet, with warm water you facilitate the dilation of your blood vessels, and improved circulation of your blood. This facilitates healing. If you so desire, you can add essential oils to your bath and raise the healing properties of the water. Wash your feet with a soft washcloth, and carefully dry them after your bath. Allow them to air dry. 

  3. Moisturize Your Feet: Your feet have skin as their primary cover. Skin loves and needs moisture in order to heal itself. Use a moisturizer such as Eucerin or Vaseline to keep your skin moisturized and minimize the occurrence of dryness or cracking. Air dry your feet to minimize fungal infections. 

  4. Adequate Foot Care: This is the time of your life, where pedicures should be a standard. When you’re cutting your nails, ensure that they are cut straight and filed. Do what you can to minimize the occurrence of ingrown toenails, because the induced cuts can lead to ulcers. If you see a cut or wound, see your doctor. 

  5. Wear Diabetic Socks: With added cushions, these are special socks that will help you to keep the socks clean and dry. When it comes to your footcare, check your shoes carefully to ensure that there is nothing inside them before you wear them. Since such objects can cut the feet, it is critical to ensure that the feet are protected in their shoes. 

  6. Keep Your Feet Clean and Dry: As strange as it may seem, an antiperspirant on your feet will keep them dry. 

This list is by no means exhaustive, but it is a great start to your diabetic foot care. As with all medical conditions, do consult with your orthopaedic surgeon, in order to ensure that you are getting the appropriate care. Your health is your wealth! 

 

References: 

  1. Diabetes Footcare Guidelines: https://www.foothealthfacts.org/conditions/diabetic-foot-care-guidelines