It is estimated that 25% of all diabetics will develop a foot ulcer at some time in their lives. Proper foot care is critical in preventing ulcerations. Diabetes can affect the circulation to your feet, impairing the amount of blood flow to your toes. It can also affect the nerves to your feet. It will make them numb eventually.
Diabetes can affect the structure of your feet. It can cause deformities of the toes and in the arch. Your skin is also different. It can make your skin more thin, more dry, and more prone to infection.
Proper foot hygiene is critical. Proper shoe gear is very important in the protection of your foot.
What to do at home. Look at your feet every morning when you wake up and before you go to bed every night. People ask what to look for. Look for anything that's not normal. Get to know your feet. If you see a red spot, a sore, a blister, anything that is out of the ordinary, call your doctor immediately. This can be the sign of something serious occurring.
Wash your feet. Warm soapy water. Dry very well between your toes. Moisturize your feet, any type of moisturizer on the bottoms of your feet. Nothing between the toes. Keep between your toes clean and dry. By keeping your toes clean and dry between your toes and the skin moisturized, you will reduce your risk of bacterial and fungal infections. It makes the skin a better barrier.
Check your shoes. Your shoes should fit properly. Discard shoes if they are excessively worn. If you have a deformity, make sure your shoes have an adequate width and depth in the toe box. If you have a deformity and are diabetic, you may qualify to get shoes through your insurance company. Shoes are critical to prevention.
Socks are also important. Worn socks should be discarded. Diabetic socks are great in that they have no seams, and the elasticity is not too tight. Change your socks regularly. Wash your socks.
Proper control of your diabetes is also key in slowing down and helping prevent some of the complications from diabetes. Diabetes is a slow process. It takes years for some of these conditions to occur. Proper care now can prevent ulcerations and later amputations.
Don't smoke. Smoking and diabetes are destructive to the feet. It affects the circulation so bad that you may not ever recover.
Exercise is critical. Exercise not only will decrease your blood sugar, but it improves blood flow to your feet. This may help keep the blood flowing to your toes and nourish the nerves to your feet.