Diabetes can be dangerous to your feet – even a small cut can produce serious consequences. Diabetes may cause nerve damage that takes away the feeling in your feet. Diabetes may also reduce blood flow to the feet, making it harder to heal an injury or resist infection. Because of these problems, you may not notice a foreign object in your shoe. As a result you could develop a blister or a sore. This could lead to an infection or a non-healing wound that could put you at risk for an amputation. To avoid serious foot problems that could result in losing a toe, foot, or leg, follow these guidelines.
Inspect your feet daily.
Check for cuts, blisters, redness, swelling, or nail problems. Use a magnifying hand mirror to look at the bottom of your feet. Call Blue Ridge Foot and Ankle Clinic if you notice anything.
Wash your feet in lukewarm (not hot!) water.
Keep your feet clean by washing them daily. Use only lukewarm water – the temperature you would use on a newborn baby.
Be gentle when bathing your feet.
Wash them using a soft washcloth or sponge. Dry by blotting or patting, and carefully dry between the toes.
Moisturize your feet – but not between your toes.
Use a moisturizer daily to keep dry skin from itching or cracking. But DON’T moisturize between the toes – that could encourage a fungal infection.
Cut nails carefully.
Cut them straight across and file the edges. Don’t cut nails too short, as this could lead to ingrown toe nails. If you have concerns about your nails, consult Dr. Murray or Dr. Chang.
Never treat corns or calluses yourself.
No “bathroom surgery” or medicated pads. Visit Blue Ridge Foot and Ankle Clinic for appropriate treatment.
Wear clean, dry socks. Change them daily.