Neuropathy and insufficient blood flow that accompany diabetes can result in serious medical conditions. Even small injuries to the feet can lead to infection, tissue death, gangrene and amputation. Read these tips to keep your feet healthy.
Wash your feet often. Clean feet are less likely to grow pathogenic bacteria and it will be easier to see anything unusual when your feet are clean. It is just as important to keep your feet dry, particularly between the toes. Bacteria grows best in a moist, dry environment. The area between the toes can quickly become a breeding ground. Untreated foot infection can lead to tissue necrosis and possible loss of your foot.
Keep your feet moisturized by applying a high-quality lotion regularly. Dry skin can chap and peel leaving open wounds that can be entered by bacteria. Never apply lotion to the area between your toes. Again, this moisture can create the perfect environment for bacteria to grow and multiply.
Avoid using a plastic foot bath. These foot baths can contain germs that may enter even the smallest cut on your foot. Do not use a foot bath at a nail salon either. Pedicures are a definite no-no for diabetics. Trim your own toenails carefully. If you cannot trim your own nails without cutting yourself, consult a podiatrist. Never attempt to cut your toenails if they are extremely thick or difficult to cut.
Check your feet often for any signs of trouble. Small cuts, abrasions and nicks can be extremely dangerous. If you notice a wound on your foot, contact your doctor immediately. The impaired blood flow that comes with diabetes makes it difficult for wounds on the feet to heal. Without adequate blood circulation, the infection-fighting white blood cells cannot close wounds and fight bacteria as efficiently as they normally would.
Cracks, cuts and inflammation between the toes is particularly worrisome. Bacteria that may grow in the dark spaces between the toes can enter any opening and create a serious infection. Always keep the area between your toes clean and dry.
Diabetics should not walk around barefoot. Proper shoes need to be worn to protect your feet from injury and pathogens. If your feet get sweaty in your shoes, take them off while you are sitting but put them back on before you start walking. It is important to buy shoes that are well-fitting. Shoes that don’t fit well can rub against the skin on your feet and create blister, scrapes and other open wounds. Broken blister and other open skin is the ideal portal of entry for bacteria. If you wear shoes that are stiff, such as tennis shoes, wear socks to protect your skin from abrasion.
It takes extra time to care for the feet of a diabetic. Following these tips can help you keep your feet healthy. Never ignore anything unusual when it comes to the feet of a diabetic. Highly-trained podiatrists can offer vital information in keeping your feet healthy and treating a variety of foot condition.