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5 Helpful Tips to Care for Your Diabetic Foot at Home

When you have diabetes, you have a lot to manage. From eating a healthy diet to remembering to take your medicine and scheduling regular doctor appointments, it can get overwhelming. Your feet may not seem like a priority, but foot problems are common among diabetics.

This is explained by the blood sugar that circulates in your body. It can damage blood vessels and nerves. You might lose feeling in your feet and have no idea you’re injured if you step on something sharp like glass. You could also develop a complication called diabetic neuropathy, which can make your feet feel painful, tingly, or numb.

Do yourself a favor, and schedule an appointment with Richard Bernstein, D.O. at Santa Cruz Osteopathic. He’s a leading expert in Capitola, California, who will help keep your feet healthy and educate you on how you can, too. 

Between checkups, keep your feet in the best shape by practicing these five tips. 

1. Check your feet daily

Checking your feet every day is one of the best ways to prevent a foot problem. Look closely to ensure you don’t have any tiny pebbles, dirt, or other debris between your toes. If you can’t easily between your toes, use a mirror or ask someone to help you. 

Look for:

In the case that you do find one of these areas of concern, clean your feet gently and thoroughly. After you have dried your feet, be sure to cover the area with a bandage. 

Keep an eye on any area of damage — contact us if it doesn’t get better in a few days. Though it may seem minor, even a small cut could lead to an infection and run the risk of leading to amputation down the road. Diabetics have poor blood circulation, and wounds take longer to heal, so it’s best to consult a professional.

2. Always wear socks and shoes

The best way to ensure your feet are protected is by wearing socks and shoes all the time, even indoors. Sandals may be stylish, but it isn’t worth stubbing your toe or hurting your foot without knowing it. 

Wear lightly padded, seamless socks to decrease the amount of friction between your foot and shoe. Too much friction could cause the soles of your feet to thicken. With too many calluses, it can be harder to feel when you have an injury. 

When it’s warm out, choose socks or shoes made of breathable material to keep the air flowing and to prevent moisture from collecting inside. Wear closed-toe swimming or bathing shoes if you go to the gym. These types of shoes can help prevent an athlete’s foot infection.

3. Exercise to increase blood flow

You probably already know how important diet and exercise are in managing your blood sugar levels. Did you know, though, exercise also helps keep the blood flowing to your legs? This can help them stay healthy longer. 

Some good exercises to try are:

Aim to get a little exercise each day. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests diabetics get two and a half hours of exercise a week. Between exercises, you can stimulate blood flow by wiggling your toes. You can also improve blood flow by elevating your feet when sitting.

4. Keep your feet clean

Clean feet are a necessity for people with diabetes. Wash your feet every day with warm, but not hot water. Once they are clean, pat them dry with a towel. Make sure to dry the area between your toes, and apply cornstarch or an unscented foot powder. This can ensure all the moisture is gone while preventing fungus.

5. Ask for a pedicure

Sometimes it’s hard to take care of your feet by yourself. Don’t be afraid to ask a family member, close friend, or nurse’s aide (if you have one) for help. 

Keep your skin soft, free from calluses and corns, and trim your toenails regularly. If you have calluses or corns, use a pumice stone to gently smooth them by rubbing with a light touch in one direction only. Avoid over-the-counter corn-removal products, and please don’t try to shave off corns or calluses because you could cut yourself.

Always use a toenail clipper with a straight edge. Cut your nails straight across, and then use an emery board to smooth out rough edges. Keep the dry skin on the soles and tops of your feet moisturized with a small amount of petroleum jelly, lotion, or cream. Make sure not to get any between your toes. 

Keep your feet safe and pain-free by undergoing regular checkups with us. Call 831-316-1493, or request an appointment online.

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