How to Protect your Feet – Diabetes Problems

Not controlling your diabetes properly can affect the nerve endings in your legs and feet. This can result in loss of sensation and can mean you may not feel heat, cold or pain. This can have dangerous consequences as cuts which would normally feel uncomfortably painful can often go unnoticed, causing infection.

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Uncontrolled diabetes can not only damage your nerve endings but can also restrict the flow of blood to your extremities, causing poor circulation, muscle damage and slow repair time.

Follow these 11 simple tips to ensure your feet are appropriately cared for;

1) Wash feet every day with warm water.

2) Dry thoroughly with a dry towel, especially in between the toes.

3) Moisturise feet to keep skin soft.

4) Use this daily footcare routine to check your feet for cuts, blisters, swelling or other changes.

5) Wear clean, soft, dry socks.

6) Attempt to keep your feet warm and dry at all times.

7) Don’t smoke. Smoking impairs circulation and reduces the amount of oxygen in the blood. These circulatory problems can result in more severe wounds and poor healing.

8) Wear well-fitting shoes, appropriate for your activities.

9) Never walk barefoot, indoors or outdoors.

10) Have a footcare examination every year (as recommended by diabetes specialists)

11) Visit a chiropodist or podiatrist to maintain your feet and prevent problems such as hard skin. You shouldn’t ever remove hard skin, calluses or lesions yourself.

12) Check for loss of sensation and sensitivity.

If you are diabetic and are concerned about your foot health, or you cut or blister your feet, you should consult your GP immediately. Leaving minor problems to get worse can result in infection, foot ulcers and in the worst care scenarios, amputation. If in doubt, always see a professional!