Diabetes Tips: 5 Ways to Take Care of Your Feet
August 21, 2017
A big part of managing and taking care of yourself and your diabetes is taking care of your feet. At Siren Care, we believe that prevention and proactive healthcare is important to prevent potential complications including foot ulcers and amputations. Today, we're outlining 5 of the ways that you can work to proactively take care of the health of your feet.
Wear Socks Daily
Apart from choosing the right shoes for your feet, you also need to consider your socks. It's important to wear a fresh pair of clean socks every day, avoid wearing socks with holes, and never wear your shoes without socks.
The reason for wearing socks is that they protect your feet, and give you an added layer of support and protection. It's important to choose comfortable socks that aren't too restrictive, keep moisture away, and keep your feet dry.
We encourage you to wear socks daily because injuries can occur at any time, especially when you least expect them to. When you're at home don't forget to wear socks, because for most individuals that's where most time is spent walking.
Understand How Diabetes Can Affect Your Feet
Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy (DPN) is a condition that many people with diabetes have, due to a number of factors including your blood sugar levels. When you have DPN, it means that you have nerve damage, making it more difficult to feel your feet. In fact, you might not even feel a cut or a blister if it happens on your foot. Additionally, diabetes can also affect the flow of blood in your feet. Some people will develop peripheral arterial disease (PAD), and without good blood flow, it takes longer for a sore or cut to heal.
Talk with your certified diabetes educator or doctor, about the risk factors you might have for DPN and PAD and how both conditions may impact your feet.
Have Regular Exams with Your Provider
We recommend regular foot wellness exams with your health care team. The amount and frequency of visits will depend on your individual needs, but it's important to connect regularly with your doctor to determine your foot health risk factors, have a comprehensive foot exam, and check your overall foot health.
If you experience any of the following problems, we recommend contacting your doctor:
- Changes in foot skin color
- Changes in foot skin temperature
- Swelling in the foot, ankle, and/or toes
- Pain in the legs and feet
- Open sores or wounds on the feet
- Ingrown toenails, toenail fungus, or any problems with your toes.
- Dry cracks in the skin
- Unusual and/or persistent foot odor
Inspect Your Feet Daily
Take the time to do full comprehensive physical examinations of your feet daily. You'll need to check for any cuts, blisters, redness, swelling or nail problems. Use a bright light and a mirror to adequately examine your feet.
How to do a Foot Check
- Inspect the tops, sides, soles, heels, and between your toes.
- Look for: dry and cracked skin, blisters or sores, bruises or cuts. redness, warmth, or tenderness, and firm or hard spots.
- Feel your foot with your hands - you want to see if there are any bumps or temperature changes from one part of the foot to another.
- Do a visual inspection. Search for any abnormalities on the top of your feet, such as scabs, sores, bruises, or corns.
- Check your toes and toenails.
- Keep a foot diary - write down any irregularities, note any issues, and keep a log to help inform your health care team about your foot health.
Foot temperature monitoring is a method of preventive care to help detect a potential foot injury. A study by Dr. Lavery, suggests that at-home temperature monitor is an effective tool to help prevent ulcers.
At Siren we have developed socks that have six temperature sensors in the soles of each sock. They continuously monitor temperature so you have peace of mind and easily know the temperature of your feet. If there's an increase in temperature on a particular part of your foot, that's a sign of inflammation and a potential injury.
For more information on how the socks work, visit the website.
Additional Diabetes Foot Care Resources
We believe that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. If you have any useful tips for foot care and foot health please be sure to write them in the comments section below.
- Diabetes and Amputation - Everything You Need to Know
- Foot & Skin Related Complications of Diabetes
- 4 Tips for Foot Care When You Have Diabetes
- Footcare when you have diabetic peripheral neuropathy
- How to care for your diabetic feet