Looking after your feet when you have a diabetes diagnosis is important. As your condition advances, there's a risk that a reduced blood supply will impact the sensation in your feet. Because of this, you may not notice injuries as quickly as other people, which then results in a higher risk of infection. In addition to using podiatry diabetes treatment services, there are steps you can take to protect your feet at home.
Remain vigilant in keeping your feet clean
Most people are excellent at keeping their feet clean, but as someone with diabetes, you need to remain extra-vigilant. To achieve this, you may want to focus on some of the techniques people use to reduce the chances of having smelly feet. For example:
- Try to avoid wearing the same pair of shoes two days in a row.
- Use a wash containing chlorhexidine gluconate each day.
- Dry your feet thoroughly after showering.
- Spend time with your shoes off at home.
- Choose cotton socks over bacteria-promoting garments such as tights.
Make sure your shoes fit well
Having diabetes doesn't need to mean saying goodbye to attractive shoes forever. But you do need to make a little more effort than usual to ensure they fit well. While loose-fitting shoes can result in blisters, those that are tight may result in cuts and surface abrasions. When buying shoes, aim for stores that offer fitting and measurement services rather than just buying them off the rack. If you notice that you're experiencing blisters, corns or calluses, consider wearing a different pair.
Practice good foot care
If you're usually in the habit of letting your toenails grow a little too long, now's the time to stop. Toenails that introduce cuts to other areas of your feet could result in infections that are difficult to control. Additionally, if you experience an ingrown toenail while your blood sugar levels remain higher than they should, you're at risk of a bacterial infection. Review your feet on a weekly basis and trim the toenails gently using a clipper.
In addition to all this, visit a professional who offers diabetic podiatry care. They can assess your footwear to ensure it fits correctly. They'll also tackle areas of your feet that you might not want to address by yourself. For example, thick layers of hard skin and corns. Try to see your podiatrist on a yearly basis or more regularly if your diabetes consultant feels it's necessary to do so.