Diabetic foot care should be part of your routine to ensure a mobile quality of life, yet many diabetics overlook symptoms of an infection that would prevent unnecessary hospital visits.
Good news is that we can avoid the risk of infection and maintain a mobile quality of life with these 7 tips for diabetic foot care.
1. Inspect Your Feet Daily
Nerve damage (neuropathy) is a complication caused by diabetes making it hard to feel sores or cracks in your feet. Check both the bottom and around your feet for anything that may lead to an infection. Place a mirror on the floor if you have a problem with flexibility. This will help you see your feet clearly.
2. Don’t Use Your Feet To Test Hot Water
Another problem with nerve damage makes it hard to test the water temperature. Stepping into a hot bath without checking the temperature can cause serious damage to your feet like burns. Burns and blisters often lead to an infection if not treated immediately so use your elbow to test the water temperature before taking a bath.
3. Don’t Go Barefoot Outside
We all know that enclosed shoes protect our feet from scrapes, cuts or splinters that causes infection. Sometimes it’s tempting to put out the trash or collect mail without wearing shoes because it’s quicker that way. Create good habits by wearing shoes at all times, even inside the house.
4. Keep Your Feet Dry
Athlete’s foot (tinea pedis) is a common fungal infection among diabetics. Reduce the risk of an infection by drying your feet properly after showering. The same applies to socks. Make sure you remove wet socks immediately, wash in-between your toes and dry thoroughly.
5. Use Correct Footwear
Shoe shopping for diabetics requires more time in finding the right footwear. Diabetic footwear not only supports but also protects the feet. Look for a shoe with extra toe box depth, generous midsole, no seams on the inside and rocker bottom sole to reduce pressure on the feet. There is a velcro strap option for those with arthritic hands.
6. Low Impact Exercises
Exercise has many benefits but for diabetics, especially those with neuropathy, should be choosy when it comes to certain workouts such as aerobics or any high-intensity training. Sprinting, jumping and leaping places pressure on your feet. Always choose low-impact exercises like walking, swimming or tai chi that doesn’t put too much pressure on your feet.
7. See A Podiatrist Regularly
It’s tempting to cut out corns or calluses or use over-the-counter pharmaceutical products to treat them. Do not attempt these strategies yourself. Always seek a podiatrist in any case and always book a yearly assessment. Your podiatrist will determine the frequency of each visit depending on the level of risk.
Let’s work at reducing the statistic of Aussie hospital admissions by making diabetic foot care part of your routine.
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