Diabetes and Foot Care
Thursday, January 30, 2014 at 8:27AM
Dr. Martin Dziak in Certified Pedorthist, calluses, diabetes, foot care, healthy feet, in-grown toenails, warts

 

Foot problems are very common in people with diabetes and can lead to serious complications. This fact sheet provides basic information about how diabetes affects your feet and what you can do to keep your feet healthy. Contact the Canadian Diabetes Association for additional resources.
As always, prevention is the best medicine. A good daily foot care routine will help keep your feet healthy. Start by assembling a foot care kit containing nail clippers, nail file, lotion, and a non-breakable hand mirror. Having everything you need in one place makes it easier to follow this foot care routine every day.

  1. Wash your feet in warm (not hot) water, using a mild soap. Don’t soak your feet for too long, as this can dry your skin.
  2. Dry your feet carefully, especially between your toes.
  3. Thoroughly check your feet and between your toes to make sure there are no cuts, cracks, ingrown toenails, blisters, etc. Use a hand mirror to see the bottom of your feet, or ask someone else to check them for you.
  4. Clean cuts or scratches with mild soap and water, and cover with a dry dressing suitable for sensitive skin.
  5. Trim your toenails straight across and file any sharp edges. Don’t cut the nails too short.
  6. Keep your feet well moisturised.
  7. Wear fresh clean socks and well-fitting shoes every day. Whenever possible, wear white socks if you have a cut or sore, the drainage will be easy to see.

When to see your doctor
If you have any corns (thick or hard skin on toes), calluses (thick skin on bottom of feet), in-grown toenails, warts or slivers, have them treated by a foot care specialist (such as a podiatrist, chiropodist or experienced foot care nurse). If you have calluses that continue to reoccur have your feet assessed to see if you are a candidate for custom orthotics, the calluses are often a sign of foot disfunction that can be corrected.
 If you have any swelling, warmth, redness or pain in your legs or feet, see your doctor or foot specialist right away. Have your bare feet checked by your doctor at least once a year. In addition, ask your doctor to screen you for neuropathy and loss of circulation at least once a year. Take your socks off at every diabetes- related visit to your doctor and ask him or her to inspect your feet. 

 

Source: American Diabetes Association

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