Basic Foot Care
1. Daily Inspection
- It is a must for every person with diabetes.
- Look out for blisters, sores, hard skin formation, swelling, redness, cracks on the heels, ingrown toe nails and so forth.
- Check the skin in between toe space for fungal infection.
- Use mirrors to see bottom of your feet.
- If your vision is poor, ask someone to inspect your feet.
- If you notice anything out of ordinary get professional help immediately.
- Early intervention helps to save your feet.
- Every 30 seconds a foot is lost somewhere in the world
2. Foot Hygiene
- Wash feet with lukewarm water and a mild soap.
- Dry feet well. Pay special attention to in between toes.
- Do not use hot water because it may burn your feet.
- Do not soak your feet
3. Skin Care
- Keep your skin soft and subtle.- Apply a thin coat of lotion all over the feet. Avoid in between toes. - Dry skin tend to itch, scratching may cause injury to the skin. - Cover all wound with proper dressing.
4. Toe Nails
- Trim toenails straight across and file the edges.
- Cutting toenails rounded may cause ingrown toe nails.
- Some nails may be too thick and overgrown. Get professional help from a foot care clinic or a podiatrist.
- Cut toe nails after a bath for easy cutting.
5. Do Not Self Treat
- Do not self treat corns, calluses (hard skin) and in growing toe nails.
- Do not apply any form of acid base medication or corn plasters as it may cause acid burn to your skin.
- See your health care provider for help.
6. Foot Exercise
- Foot exercise is key to foot health.
- Stretching out your Achilles tendon and tendons in the balls of your feet and toes can increase mobility.
- A stiff foot can lead to great stress and foot pain.
7. Foot Circulation
- Put your feet up when you are sitting down. This helps with circulation in the feet.
- Do not cross your legs when sitting down. If you need, then uncross and switch leg that goes on top often.
- Do not smoke. It can affect circulation in your feet and lead to serious complication like peripheral arterial disease.
8. Blood Sugar Control
- Keep your blood glucose levels within the target values.
- Out of control blood glucose levels will invite foot complication like neuropathy (lost of sensation), dry skin and heel cracks.
9. Protect Your Feet
- Do not walk barefooted both indoor and outdoor.
- Wear well fitted shoes.
- Most foot problems either begin with or are made worse by ill fitting shoes.
- Hammertoes, Neuroma and bunions are conditions in which the foot begins to take the shape of the shoe
10. Always wear socks with footwear.
- Choose your socks to keep your feet cool.
- Change your socks daily or twice daily.
- Make sure your feet are dry when pitting on your socks.
- Always wear a clean and well fitting sock to protect from friction and shoe bite.
- Choose a seamless sock and a sock appropriate for people with diabetes.