Caring For Your Feet When You Have Diabetes

Diabetes can damage the nerves in your peripheral body, especially your feet. Poor circulation and nerve damage can make taking care of your feet challenging as a diabetic. Spending a few minutes paying attention to your feet every day will prevent troubling health issues.

1. Inspect your feet thoroughly every day.

It is hard to feel problems in your feet when diabetes has damaged the sensation in those nerves. Look carefully at your feet for changes in color, cracks in the skin and any open sores. Use a mirror if you have difficulty inspecting all parts of your feet.

2. Check water temperature before stepping in.

Before getting into a bathtub, check the water temperature with a thermometer or your elbow. Your feet may not sense how hot the water is, and you risk getting burned.

3. Wear the right shoes and socks.

Improper footwear can cause sores on your feet quickly. Shop for diabetic socks for men and women which have loose elastic tops and no seams. Socks with tight tops cause swelling in your feet because they restrict circulation. A seam in the sock can rub on your foot and cause a sore. Look for socks made of cotton or other absorbent materials to keep your feet dry.

Shoes should give your toes plenty of room in which to move. Make sure there is room between the ends of your toes and the shoe so they don't rub. The shoes should not have a seam that rubs on your feet, and the heel should not cause rubbing on the back of the foot.

4. Don't walk barefoot unless you know what you might step on.

If you have nerve loss in your feet, then you might step on a tack or a splinter and not feel it. Be careful about where you walk barefoot, or always have footwear on, even if its just a pair of house slippers.

5. Keep your feet dry.

Dry your feet off thoroughly after bathing, especially between your toes. Change your socks if they have become wet.

6. Take care of foot problems promptly.

Issues such as bunions and calluses cause sores on your feet from uneven rubbing against your shoes. Have a podiatrist help you with any foot problems before they cause open wounds.

7. Consider using orthotics if you can't find comfortably fitting shoes.

Your foot doctor can suggest shoe inserts that will support your foot and prevent pressure and rubbing. These can make ordinary footwear comfortable without resorting to expensive custom designed diabetic shoes.