10 Tips for Managing your Feet and Diabetes

September 23, 2014

1. Check both feet daily

Look over both feet carefully every day, and be sure you check between all of your toes. Blisters and infections can start between your toes, and with diabetic neuropathy, you may not feel them until they’ve become irritated or infected.

2. Wash your feet everyday

Wash both of your feet briefly each day with warm — not hot — water. You may not be able to feel heat with your feet, so test the water with your hands first. Avoid soaking too long in water, since waterlogged sores have a harder time healing. Dry your feet right away, and remember to dry gently between all of your toes.

3. Keep the skin soft and smooth

Rub a 10-cent piece size of moisturiser on the tops and bottoms of your feet, however not between your toes everyday. Also, if directed by your podiatrist, use a pumice stone to gently smooth corns and calluses. Seek assistance from your podiatrist if you are unsure how to effectively smooth your corns and calluses.

4. Trim your toenails regularly

Trim your toenails straight across and smooth the corners with an emery board or nail file to prevent the nail from growing in. If you cannot reach your toes, seek assistance from your podiatrist.

5. Make sure your shoes fit well

It’s an investment worth making. Even the slightest rubbing or misfit shoe can cause a blister that turns into a sore that becomes infected and never heals.
Before buying or putting on the shoes check your shoes for rough seams, sharp edges or other objects that could hurt your feet. And break your shoes in gradually.

6. Skip the barefoot look

Always wear shoes or slippers. Always wear socks with your shoes, since leather, plastics, and manmade shoe materials can irritate your skin and quickly bring on blisters.

While you might prefer the look of hose, nylon knee-highs, or thin socks, you may find that these don’t give your toes or heels enough protection. Wear thicker socks to pad your feet and cushion any calluses or sore spots.

7. Protect your feet from hot and cold

Protect your feet from the hot and cold by always wearing shoes on hot surfaces and wearing warm cotton socks to bed during the cooler months. Also, avoid hot water bottles and heating pads on your feet, as you may not feel how hot they are.

8. Keep the blood flowing to your feet

Being the furthest part of your body away from your heart, it is so important to help the blood flow to your feet. Try these simple tips!

– Elevate your feet for 5 minutes each day

– Wiggle your toes and move your ankles up and down for 5 minutes, two or three times a day

– Do not cross your legs for long periods of time

– Do not smoke

9. Be active everyday

A simple 30-minute walk each day is all it takes!

10. Take care of your diabetes

Nerve damage can be unpredictable. Tell your podiatrist about any changes in the sensation in your toes, feet, or legs. Speak up if you notice pain, tingling, a pins-and-needles feeling, numbness, or any other unusual signs — even if it seems trivial to you. There’s nothing small about a potential foot amputation.