1. Do a nightly foot inspection
Blisters, calluses or sores are common feet problems that one might encounter. They are caused by heat, cold or tight shoes. These injuries are insignificant for most of us and we ignore them without treatment of any nature. But for people living with diabetes, they are very serious problems. This is due to poor blood circulation which is common with type two diabetes. Poor circulation leads to low immune system leaving the patients more vulnerable to infection due to difficulties in the healing process. Nerve problems makes the patients unable to detect sores or blisters. The doctors being aware of this facts recommend the patients to check their feet every day. In the case of any other problems, you should seek you doctor’s advice.
2. Get your spouse play footsies with you
Many diabetic patients may experience discomfort when attempting to check their feet. They may not be able to check thoroughly due to Obesity, arthritis (which affects the bones making flexibility difficult to bend). Diabetes may affect eyesight which makes it hard for the patient to see the feet and inspect for injuries. This is why you should seek help from your spouse who will help you detect injuries before it’s too late to act on
3. Keep a small mirror under your bed
It might seem easy to look and inspect the top and sides of your feet. But many are the times we don’t take time or are unable to inspect the bottom part of the feet. The bottom part is the most vulnerable to injuries. These difficulties together with the nerve injuries, (which inhibits your ability to feel pain). This deters your ability to detect injuries at the bottom of your feet. Ensure you keep a mirror under or the side of your bed to examine your feet every day before you sleep.
4. Keep your eyes open for irritation large and small
Living with diabetes requires vigilance and routine. Making sure you check your feet daily and ensure there are no cuts and sores on your feet. Immediately you spot a cut or sore contact your doctor. Even if it might seem small or not detrimental in the long-run it may turn to a disaster. What you should you keep an eye out for.? Well, you should look for sores, cut or a splinter, any irritations including; Corns, redness or calluses. Special attention should be focused in-between the toes and the bottom part. These parts are most vulnerable to foot ulcers.
5. Clean and treat minor scrapes and cuts right away
Ensure to wash your feet with antibacterial soap and clean water. While in the case of wounds and small cuts wash with the anti-bacterial soap. After washing, rinse the feet with a lot of the clean water. Then using a paper towel or clean towel carefully dry your feet. When the feet are dry put some antibiotic ointment on a cotton swab and apply it carefully on the area with the wound. Note that you should not apply with your hands or finger. Instead, make sure you have cotton wool to apply. When dry cover the cut with a bandage. The wound should show signs of healing within a day. If the wound displays signs of infections which may be: swelling, warmth, oozing or redness. Immediately contact your doctor for help and assistance.
6. Moisturize your feet
After a long day at work or any other activities during the day, remove your socks and shoes. If you spot white flakes on your feet and socks, those are dead skin cells. This means your skin is very dry. In case your skin is dry you should treat the feet by moisturizing which keeps skin cracks off. You can read our ultimate guide and review on diabetic foot cream and lotion. The cracks arise due to dry skin and leave you vulnerable to infections. Before you sleep to make sure you wash and moisturize your feet. Moisturize all round to keep them smooth and free from cracks.
7. Ask your podiatrist to trim your toenails at your next visit
The Podiatrist has all required tools to get the job done. These tools help to cut toenails without accidental cuts and scrapes. The toenail clippers have more leverage than the normal clippers. This ensures they cut through the nails without applying too much pressure on the toe layers. Their blades are also custom made to ensure they can cut big toenails. If you want to cut your own toenails buy lever-style toenail clippers. Alternatively, you can use nail files and emery boards. Make sure you don’t use the normal tools. These tools are knives, fingernail clippers, teeth or any other tools that may cause injuries to your feet.
8. Soften sharp toenails
Common mistakes in cutting or when trimming toenails is cutting across. It leaves sharp edges which may cut the neighboring toe when walking. It is imperative you trim your nails to flush the tip of the toe. Also, trim them in a curve to get rid of the sharp corners that can cause harm as your nails grow. Ensure you file to give your nails a perfect curve with blunt endings.
9. Toss out your electric blankets
Might seem ‘not important’. But remember some of the issues affecting the feet include loss of sense to pain and temperature due to nerve damage. Make sure to keep electric blankets, heating pads, hot liquids or ice packs away. When your feet experience nerve damage one might be exposed to extreme temperature without notice. When it goes on unnoticed due to lack of sense it causes serious damage to your feet or other parts of the body.
10. Slip into your slippers
Whenever you enter your house from outside you may have a habit of removing your shoes and walking around the house barefoot. Well, why not your house is clean right? Wrong it’s a bad idea to walk barefoot since you may step on a sharp object. This causes injuries which you should work hard to avoid. Make sure you wear non-slip slippers. They enable you to walk around the house while ensuring your feet are safe.
11. In the morning, check your shoes for lumps, debris, and insects
Many times we wake up have a shower, take breakfast and then slip on your shoes and go to work. Well, this should be avoided. Don’t just slip into your shoes without checking for debris, lumps or insects that may cause injuries to your feet. Checking regularly makes it a habit. If you check often times you will find small stones or a small sharp object that is just about to tear through the final layer of your shoes after which it would cause injury. So make sure you keep your shoes free from debris and sharp objects.
12. Follow treatment instructions from your doctor
In case you encounter any wounds or open cuts and visit your doctor. He will tell you what, when and how to handle the wounds. Also, ensure you should keep a record and follow every piece of this instructions. This is to avoid complications or prolonged healing which may bring in infections. Infections make it hard to treat a wound. So make sure to follow the doctor’s instruction, and ask for guidance whenever you don’t see the expected results.
13. Wear shoes that fit you well
No matter how much care you give to your feet if you don’t wear the right size of shoes you will have blisters. This is due to the friction caused when you move around during the day. To avoid this keep measuring your feet size daily. Keep different sizes of the shoe in your house to wear when your feet are at their normal size. Keep extra-large shoes to wear when your feet are swollen which is common for a diabetic patient. There is also technologies that assist in the measuring your foot size. They also recommend the shoe size that would fit you perfectly. There are also may type of diabetic shoes that are custom made to fit the needs of a diabetic person. Find your preferred shoe, purchase it and enjoy their benefits.
14. Show your feet to your health care provider when going for a check up
Sometimes it can be hard to tell what is normal from what is not normal. When you check your feet you may ignore or fail to notice a problem. This could cost you dearly in the long-run. This is why you should go for regular visits to your healthcare provider. He or she will give you an expert opinion on the state of health of your feet. If you keep doing this you will have few or no complications arising from your feet.
15. Get a foot Massage
Many will smile when you read this. Feet are very sensitive and give a tingling effect that makes you laugh. This is the experienced when someone touches your feet. But this is not the case with people living with diabetes. People living with diabetes have nerve damage. This affects their feet leaving them without the sense of touch, temperature, and pain. Massaging your feet or visiting a specialist to help massage your feet can help the nerves muscles and veins relax and heal. Massage also enhances blood circulation in your feet. This is done through relaxation of the vessels and hence the blood flows freely. You should receive massage twice a week by a specialist. But in case you prefer your spouse she/he can massage you every night before going to bed.
Table of Contents
- 1 1. Do a nightly foot inspection
- 2 2. Get your spouse play footsies with you
- 3 3. Keep a small mirror under your bed
- 4 4. Keep your eyes open for irritation large and small
- 5 5. Clean and treat minor scrapes and cuts right away
- 6 6. Moisturize your feet
- 7 7. Ask your podiatrist to trim your toenails at your next visit
- 8 8. Soften sharp toenails
- 9 9. Toss out your electric blankets
- 10 10. Slip into your slippers
- 11 11. In the morning, check your shoes for lumps, debris, and insects
- 12 12. Follow treatment instructions from your doctor
- 13 13. Wear shoes that fit you well
- 14 14. Show your feet to your health care provider when going for a check up
- 15 15. Get a foot Massage