Friday, 23 September 2016

Diabetic Foot Care: 5 Important Tips

Diabetes can impair blood supply to your feet and trigger diabetic peripheral neuropathy (loss of sensitivity of nerves to pain, temperature, and pressure particularly in the legs and feet). Because of this, foot injuries take a longer time to heal; cuts, bruises or other foot injuries are likely to go unnoticed and untreated and get worse. Given below are five important tips for diabetic foot care.

1.Managing the condition

You should follow these steps assiduously to manage your foot health effectively: eating a balanced diet (rich in fruits and vegetables recommended), monitoring your blood sugar level, staying active and controlling weight gain with a regular exercise regimen, limiting your alcohol intake and quitting smoking. In addition, regular general health and foot health check-ups are crucial to recognizing red flags and taking prompt treatment.

2.Daily foot inspection

Check your feet every day to spot sores, cuts, corns and calluses, red spots, blisters, infected toenails and swelling. If you find any, attend to them promptly asking your foot doctor for advice. You can use a pumice stone to smooth corns and calluses, but don’t cut them as it can damage your skin and may even cause infection.

Remember to trim your toenails and seek help if you find them yellowish, thick or growing back into your skin. If you find it difficult to bend over and inspect your toes, you can use a mirror or ask your family to help. Every time you return home, make sure you wash your feet, dry them and inspect to see if they are clean.

3.Choosing the right footwear and socks

The right footwear that provides adequate support to your feet is crucial for good foot health. It’s best to buy shoes in the evening when your feet are at their largest – they do swell during the day; that would help you get a good fit. While buying, you should ensure that the shoes do not pinch your toes or feet, and the toe box is comfortable.

According to foot doctors, you should avoid wearing high heels or shoes with pointed toes that put undue pressure on your toes. For daily wear, flat walking shoes or athletic shoes would be a prudent choice. Just like shoes, the right socks too are crucial. Wear lightly padded, clean and good fit socks with no seams; that would help avoid walking barefoot and injuring your feet accidentally.

4.Avoiding barefoot walking

Walking barefoot and stepping on something that hurts or cuts could be dangerous, since you may not notice that your foot is hurt. Even while indoors, avoid going barefoot for all it takes to hurt your feet is a misplaced nail or a child’s toy. As you avoid going barefoot on hot pavements or sandy beaches, be on guard to take the same care when at home.

5.Seeking medical attention for foot ailments

Whether you experience numbness, unexplainable pain, or suffer injuries, cuts or bruises that refuse to heal, don’t try over-the-counter medicines. Consult your foot doctor for correct diagnosis of the cause and proper prescription of medications, taking into consideration pre-existing health condition, if any. You can even seek from your doctor foot care tips on special shoes and orthotic support for free and comfortable mobility.

With conscious follow-up action on these tips and periodical consultation with an experienced podiatrist, you can avoid foot ailments and enjoy perfect foot health, despite your diabetes.

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