One of the top ten diseases people in the United States suffer from is diabetes. Over 29 million Americans have diabetes. Some more famous diabetics are novelist Anne Rice, Supreme Court Justice Sonya Sotomayor and pop culture icon, Nick Jonas.
Diabetic foot care is highly important, since diabetes can cause in numbness and loss of feeling on the legs and feet because of poor blood flow. Because of the numbness, cuts and sores can go unnoticed, which leads to possible infection. This means that diabetics need to spend a little extra time paying attention to their feet so they can remain healthy. Dr. Paul Klein is a podiatrist who specializes in diabetic foot care.
How do I take care of my feet if I am a diabetic?
Wash and dry your feet on a daily basis
Gently wash your feet in warm water using soap and mild water, but don’t soak them, since that will dry the skin and lead to cracking. To prevent the skin on your feet from cracking, use lotion on the bottom of your feet and for preventing infections between your toes, using talcum powder generally works well .
Keep your feet covered at all times
People with diabetes need to be careful not to go barefoot- it is important to always wear shoes and socks, since diabetics cannot always feel it if they step on something sharp. Make sure your shoes are empty before putting them on- look in them to double check that no foreign objects are in there that could possibly cut you.
Trim your toenails regularly
If you can easily see and reach your feet, keep your toenails trimmed. However, if your toenails are thick or yellowed, if you cannot or feel your feet, have your podiatrist cut your toenails for you.
Keep the blood flowing to your feet
Don’t wear socks or shoes that cut off your circulation below the knees or are too tight. Do not cross your legs for extended periods of time, and keep your feet elevated when sitting down.
Check your feet every day
Make sure you examine your feet every day for infected toenails, swelling, cuts or sores. If you have difficulty seeing your feet, use a mirror or ask a family member/caregiver to help you out.