FOOT SAFETY FOR PEOPLE WITH DIABETES: A must read for people with Diabetes mellitus
3 mins read

FOOT SAFETY FOR PEOPLE WITH DIABETES: A must read for people with Diabetes mellitus

Contributed by 

Dr Shariq Masoodi

Prof  of  Endocrinology SKIMS ,Sgr Kashmir 


People with #diabetes develop #foot problems due to a combination of factors — high blood sugar damaging nerves and blood vessels, leading to numbness, poor circulation, and vulnerable skin. This makes tiny injuries go unnoticed, then worsen due to slow healing and increased infection risk.

Therefore people with diabetes need to take extra care to prevent complications like ulcers, infections, and amputations.


Daily inspection:

* Thoroughly inspect your feet every day, including the bottoms, tops, and between the toes. Use a mirror or magnifying glass if needed. Look for any cuts, blisters, redness, swelling, or changes in skin color or texture.

* Feel for areas with decreased sensation. If certain areas of your feet feel numb, you might not notice injuries, making inspection even more crucial.

Foot hygiene:

* Wash your feet daily in warm (not hot) water with mild soap. Dry them thoroughly, especially between the toes.

* **Trim your toenails straight across **avoid cutting into the corners to prevent ingrown nails.

* Moisturize your feet daily with a lotion that is free of alcohol and fragrance. Don’t apply moisturizer between the toes, as this can increase the risk of infection.

Shoes and socks:

* Always wear shoes or slippers in the house and outdoors, even on carpets. Don’t go barefoot, as you might injure your feet without noticing.

* Choose well-fitting shoes with a wide toe box and good arch support. Avoid tight shoes or high heels.

* Change your socks daily. Choose socks made from natural fibers like cotton or wool that wick away moisture.

Other preventative measures:

* Maintain good blood sugar control. High blood sugar levels can contribute to foot problems.

* Manage other health conditions like high blood pressure and nerve damage that can increase the risk of foot complications.

* Avoid smoking and excessive alcohol consumption. These can further impair circulation and worsen foot health.

* See your doctor regularly, especially if you have any changes in your feet or concerns about your foot health. Your doctor may recommend additional preventive measures based on your individual needs.

Additional tips:

* Use a footstool or pillow to elevate your feet above your heart when you sit or sleep. This can improve circulation.

* Check the temperature of the bath water with your elbow before stepping in. Don’t soak your feet, as this can increase the risk of infection.

* Avoid using heating pads or hot water bottles on your feet. You might not feel the heat due to decreased sensation and burn yourself.

* Wear sunscreen on your feet when outdoors. Sunburn can worsen existing foot problems.

By taking daily care of their feet, including inspection, hygiene, and proper footwear, people with diabetes can keep their feet healthy and avoid these dangerous complications. Remember, early action is key, so if you notice any changes, consult your doctor!

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