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Diabetic Foot Care

Diabetes can be a very complicated and progressive disease. Diabetes often causes nerve damage leaving the foot insensitive to pain. The diabetic foot is in danger of irritations and infection that may not be noticed because of the lack of feeling. Complications from diabetes may also decrease blood flow to the foot making it more difficult for a sore to heal. High blood pressure can also decrease the body's ability to fight infection. It is important that you follow instructions to prevent serious consequences such as ulcerations and possible amputation. Listed below are guidelines on how to care for diabetic feet:

  1. Inspect your feet daily. Look for cuts or sores, changes in skin color, bleeding, tenderness, swelling, and areas of high temperature. If necessary, use a hand mirror to check the bottoms of your feet. If you have poor eyesight, ask a family member or friend to inspect your feet. Any major changes should be reported to your doctor. Have a thorough foot exam by a professional every 3 to 6 months.
  2. Bathe your feet daily in warm water using a mild soap and rinse thoroughly. Pat your feet dry with a soft towel making sure to dry between the toes at least twice. Do not soak your feet. Dust your feet lightly with cornstarch to keep the skin between the toes dry.
  3. Never use a lotion or cream between your toes. It's okay to use lotion or creams on the tops and bottoms of your feet.
  4. Do not wear socks that are too tight. Do not wear nylons. Avoid socks with seams. Discard socks with holes. Always wear clean socks.
  5. Wear shoes that fit properly. Shoes should be well cushioned and roomy. Don't wear shoes with high heels or pointed toes. Avoid plastic or vinyl shoes. Avoid sandals with thongs between the toes or shoes with open toes or open heels. If necessary, your doctor may prescribe extra-depth or custom-molded shoes.
  6. Shake your shoes before putting on to remove any pebbles or debris. Vacuum out shoes every week.
  7. Avoid wearing shoes without socks.
  8. Do not attempt to trim your toenails, corns or calluses or use commercial corn remedies unless given the ok by your doctor.
  9. Do not walk barefoot, not even indoors. Use slippers in the house.
  10. Avoid extremes of heat and cold. Never use hot water bottles or heating pads.
  11. Check your feet often in extreme weather especially cold to prevent frostbite.
  12. Avoid wearing anything tight around the legs or ankles.
  13. Do not use adhesive tape on the feet.
  14. Do not cross legs or ankles while sitting.
  15. Keep your feet elevated when sitting.
  16. Be more active.
  17. Keep your weight in check.
  18. Avoid smoking.
  19. Avoid alcohol.
  20. Keep your blood glucose level under control!

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