There is a lot to keep track of if you have diabetes, including monitoring your blood sugar, making healthy food choices, staying active, taking medications, and visiting your doctor. With all that on your mind, your feet might be the last thing you on your list. And because November is Diabetes Awareness Month, today Dr. Hubert Lee at CarePlus Foot & Ankle Specialists in Bellevue, WA, is sharing his tips for keeping diabetic feet healthy.
Daily foot care is one of the best ways to avoid foot complications related to diabetes.
To prevent serious foot problems, follow these guidelines:
- Examine your feet each day. Check for blisters, redness, swelling, nail problems, or cuts. Use a mirror to check the bottom of your feet and call your podiatrist if you notice anything.
- Keep feet dry and warm.
- Monitor blood sugar levels. Keep them under control.
- Gently bathe your feet. Wash them with a sponge or soft washcloth. Dry them by patting them carefully. Be sure to dry thoroughly between the toes.
- Have your podiatrist treat calluses or corns. Conducting your own 'bathroom surgery' is not a good idea.
- Consider using an antiperspirant on the bottom of your feet if your feet sweat excessively.
- Moisturize your feet. Use a moisturizer daily to keep skin from cracking or drying. But don't apply moisturizer between the toes as it could cause an infection.
- Wear socks in bed. Never use a hot water bottle or heating pad. If your feet get cold at night, put on socks.
- Cut nails properly. Cut toenails straight across. Don’t cut them too short, as this could lead to ingrown toenails.
- Wear dry, clean socks. Change them every day.
- Think about getting socks made for diabetics. This type of sock has extra cushioning, doesn’t have elastic tops, rests above the ankle, and is constructed from fibers that keep moisture away from the skin.
- Don’t walk barefooted, not even at home! Always wear something on your feet so you don’t step on something and get a cut.
- Don’t smoke. It limits blood flow in your feet.
- See your podiatrist regularly. Seeing your podiatrist on a regular basis can help prevent the complications of diabetes.
If you are diabetic, contact the office of Dr. Hubert Lee at CarePlus Foot & Ankle Specialists in Bellevue, WA today at (425) 455-0936 to schedule a consultation.