If you have type 1 or type 2 diabetes, then foot care is an essential part of your diabetes management.
November is American Diabetes Awareness month and foot care is an important part of diabetes management.
While many complications from diabetes are first noticed in the feet, serious ailments can be prevented through early detection. Taking care of your feet can be as simple as checking your feet daily for red areas or broken skin. Wash, dry, and moisturize your feet daily and as you do so, examine your feet and skin. If you notice redness, a sore or sores, or any kind of numbness, then contact your dermatologist, podiatrist, or endocrinologist immediately. All are specialists who should provide great foot care treatment for those with diabetes.
Simple steps to avoid and prevent complications include avoid going barefoot, even in your own home, and refrain from professional pedicures. When outdoors or away from home, try to wear shoes and, in some cases, socks to protect your feet.
What else can you do? Work with your healthcare givers to maintain blood sugars within your target range. Plan a workout program that works for you. If you need special shoes for diabetes, talk to your healthcare provider about Medicare coverage. Protect your feet from both heat and cold and keep the blood flowing and circulation moving to your feet. Do not smoke.
When you have diabetes, cuts and wounds can quickly deteriorate and you can end up with a non-healing wound from something as simple as pressure on your feet, cutting your nails too closely and nicking the skin, or other minor wounds. Once a wound occurs that does not heal within four weeks, it is considered a chronic wound and requires aggressive treatment.
Each visit to your diabetes caregiver, or your dermatologist, podiatrist, or endocrinologist should include a foot check that tests both your feeling and the pulsing in your feet. It is when small issues with your feet (redness, swelling, broken skin, cuts) are left untreated that bigger wounds can develop with serious complications.
It’s never too late to start good diabetes management. Start today!