People living with diabetes are prone to experiencing complications with their feet. If left untreated, these complications can manifest into more serious foot problems.
Diabetic Foot Care Conditions
Nerve damage is a common reason for diabetic foot problems1. Known as neuropathy, nerve damage in the foot can cause tingling, loss of sensation, stinging or burning pain, and weakness. When feeling in the foot has been reduced or lost entirely, foot injuries can go unnoticed and untreated for a longer period. Poor circulation to the feet is also common in diabetics1. Poor circulation affects blood flow, making it more difficult for a cut or wound to heal. Diabetes can also cause changes in skin condition1. Dryness, peeling, and cracking are common in people with diabetes. Calluses also form and build up more rapidly for diabetics and ulcers on the ball of the foot or the big toe are also common.
Foot Care Tips for People with Diabetes
Understanding these potential conditions and practicing proper foot care can help reduce the risk of developing serious foot complications, such as infections and ulcers. Preventing the progression of existing foot problems all starts with proper foot care. Here are some tips for keeping your feet healthy2.
- Frequent Inspections— Check your feet daily for any issues such as blisters, swelling, toenail irregularities, redness, and cuts. Use a mirror if you can’t easily see all of your foot. Contact your doctor if you find anything!
- Wash Feet Daily— Clean your feet gently with lukewarm water and a soft washcloth. Carefully dry your feet by blotting the moisture away and don’t forget to dry the skin between your toes.
- Moisturize— Use a daily moisturizer on your feet, but do not apply between the toes as it can increase the risk of fungal infection.
- Wear Dry Socks— Change into dry socks as often as needed.
- Trim Nails Carefully— Trim your toenails by cutting them straight across and not too short.
- Do Not Walk Barefoot— Even in the comfort of your home, walking around in bare feet exposes you to accidental cuts and scrapes.
- Avoid Smoking— Smoking causes blood flow restriction to the feet.
- Wear Comfortable Insoles—Using insoles in your shoes that improve your overall comfort will lessen the likelihood of sores, redness, and blisters. To keep feet properly supported and protected, it’s important to use insoles that offer total contact, support, and comfort like the Duo/Laminate D-Sole.
- Regular Foot Exams—Visit your doctor regularly for foot examinations to ensure your feet are in good health!
Taking care of your feet is key to help prevent foot complications associated with diabetes from occurring. AliMed can support proper foot care with these specialized products:
- For daily foot care, we carry a therapeutic foot wash that with regular use helps soothe, soften, and moisturize skin and helps minimize infection risk by washing fungus and bacteria from the skin surface. Our foot moisturizer hydrates rough, dry skin and soothes heel calluses.
- To help keep feet properly supported, the AliMed Duo/Laminate D-Soles, FREEDOM® Trilaminate Insoles, and FREEDOM® Full-Contact Insoles utilize materials that help ease discomfort by offering maximum cushioning and redistributing pressure on sensitive areas of the feet. Click here to learn more about our full line of diabetic insoles.
- To help wounds heal, the Bauerfeind® Globoped® Heel Relief Orthosis and Bauerfeind® Globoped® Forefoot Relief Orthosis Shoes offload rearfoot and forefoot weight. The Darco® HeelWedge™ Healing Shoe and the Darco® OrthoWedge™ Shoe are also clinically proven to offload and reduce heel and forefoot pressure.