Dealing with the pokes and strips and monitors is bad enough, but add to that a series of foot problems that make it hard to wear shoes or walk around, and your diabetes can really complicate your life. At Atlantic Foot & Ankle Associates on Florida’s East Coast, we want to help you maintain and enjoy your normal activities, so we offer these do’s and don’ts of diabetic foot care to put you on the right track.
The Do’s of Good Foot Care
- Wash and carefully dry your feet each day, and use a good quality moisturizer to keep them soft; dry between toes, but don’t apply lotion there
- Inspect your feet for anything unusual—cuts, scrapes, bumps, an odd shape or color
- Carefully trim nails (straight across and not too short); use a pumice stone or emery board on any calluses after your shower
- Keep your feet warm by wearing socks and shoes when it is cold, and loose socks in bed
- Choose socks and shoes carefully; they should fit well and not cause pain, hamper your movements, rub against any part of your foot, or have tight elastic tops
The Don’ts of Diabetic Foot Care
- Don’t get your feet wet outdoors in the snow or rain, and don’t soak your feet
- Avoid direct heat from a fireplace or campfire, heating pad, furnace vent, or radiator
- Don’t use sharp instruments on your feet; avoid abrasive foot care products
- Don’t use over-the-counter foot treatments containing acid or antiseptic solutions except under a physician’s direction
- Don’t smoke, as it interferes with normal blood flow; the same goes for crossing your legs or feet as you sit
- Don’t wear high heels or shoes that pinch your toes, and don’t lace shoes too tightly
Diabetic Foot Care Includes Your Whole Body
The health of your feet is dependent on your overall health as well. Your circulatory system and nervous system are both affected by diabetes, and complications in these systems often show up in the limbs. Your feet may be the first place you notice sores that don’t heal, numbness, tingling, or pain. It is important to use your medications properly, and watch closely what you eat. Keeping your glucose level as constant as possible gives the best outcomes for the health of these systems.
Exercise is also an important component of good circulation, as well as keeping your weight under control. Extra weight puts more stress on your feet and ankles, increasing their risk of injury.
What to Do If There Is a Problem
There is nothing that can substitute for the care of a good podiatrist when you have diabetes. Keeping your feet healthy is crucial in maintaining your ability to do your normal activities. Atlantic Foot & Ankle Associates recommends at least an annual foot exam at our office, more often if you have specific foot problems. Staying on top of your foot health will keep a small issue from becoming a debilitating complication.
With locations in Daytona Beach, Port Orange, Palm Coast, Orange City, and Edgewater, FL, we’ve got you covered. Call our Daytona Beach office at (386) 274-3336 for an appointment, or check the contact us page for phone numbers for other locations. You can also request an appointment online. Our policy is to treat any acute injuries to your feet within 24 hours (48 on weekends).