Diabetes and Foot
Foot care is very important when you have diabetes for 10 years or longer. Because of thickening of the walls of the blood vessels your feet would receive less blood. Also because of the changes in the nerves, your feet will have less sensation. You may therefore not have any sensation, when your feet are close to a fire place, hot water bottle is too hot, an injury sustained and if your feet are infected. In diabetes, you need to take very good care of your feet. Ask your doctor to examine your feet regularly or see a podiatrist for regular check ups.
The general guidelines for foot care are
- Clean your feet daily with a mild soap and warm water, then dry them thoroughly with a soft cotton towel. Take special care for cleaning in between the toes.
- Wear properly fitting shoes with clean socks. Do not go bare foot outside the house.
- Examine your feet properly once a week. Use a hand mirror to examine the undersurface and sides.
- Get your toe nails clipped regularly. If it hurts see a podiatrist.
- Do not treat the in-growing toe nails yourself nor ask your friends to do so. Take an advice from your doctor and seek treatment from a podiatrist.
- Do not sit close to heaters or a fire place. If your feet feel cold, wear warm socks or stockings. Do not use a hot water bottle.
- Clean small cuts and sores with small mild antiseptic (Listerine/Dettol). Apply antiseptic creams and sterile dressings.
- Consult your doctor or podiatrist immediately about any throbbing pain or discharge from a corn, underneath or sides of a toe nail.