A minimal cut in the standing skin, suffering from diabetes, circulation problems, infections, nerve damage or injuries, will favor serious complications such as gangrene on your feet, it is very important to care for the feet in diabetics.
A healthy lifestyle, frequent medical examinations and a diabetes control that includes an examination of glucose, blood pressure and cholesterol, are minimum requirements for healthy feet.
Monitor daily blood sugar levels, follow a balanced diet rich in fruits and vegetables and a regimen for foot care, plus frequent exercises, will also favor having healthy feet.
Habits for foot care
Responsible and good habits will promote the health of the feet and prevent injuries.
Check them daily
The feet and fingers will be checked before sleeping and upon waking. The plants, heels, tops and sides should be inspected for any superficial injury or discoloration. Help will be asked or a mirror will be used to reach difficult areas.
The doctor will be contacted or assisted immediately if a sore, redness, blister, bruise or cut is found.
Keep skin hydrated
Creams or oils will favor hydrated feet and avoid lesions due to dryness. They will not be applied between the fingers to not develop bacteria.
Wash them continuously
The feet will be washed with warm water and neutral soap. Hot water and strong soaps damage the skin.
The temperature will be checked with the hands because diabetes makes detection with the feet difficult.
Dry them well
The feet will be well dried with a towel smoothly and gently. Care will be taken between the fingers. Wet areas are ideal for the development of infections.
Low impact exercises
Walking with the right shoes or swimming are favorable exercises because they do not press the feet. It will discard bounce, jump and jump.
Each cigarette adds chemicals that constrict the blood vessels, depriving the feet of oxygen and nutrients needed to fight infections.
Control sugar levels
High levels of blood sugar can cause diabetic neuropathy. Keeping glucose under control will help you have healthy feet.
Habits for healthy feet
The following are useful tips for developing healthy habits for the feet.
- Protect your feet from extreme temperatures
- Do not remove the hardness, calluses or warts on your feet by yourself. Neither use callus removers or chemical substances without first consulting the doctor
- Do not sit cross-legged or stand for a long time
- Avoid the use of heating pads, electric blankets or hot water bags
- Do not walk barefoot or on the beach, except on the pavement. There is a risk of injury and infection
- Unless the doctor asks, do not use antiseptic solutions because they can burn the skin
Visual difficulty, circulatory changes and nerve problems in the legs or feet make routine nail care dangerous for people with diabetes.
Neglecting the health of the nails will favor ulcers or sores on the feet.
The doctor will be asked if it is safe to take care of the toenails by yourself. If it is, you will be asked for advice on how to do it.
The following are guidelines for the optimal care of the toenails.
- Cut them after the shower. They will be softer
- Cut them in a straight line and not in a curve to avoid ingrown nails
- Do not cut the corners with the nail clippers. Use an emery board to smooth the edges without leaving them too short
- The best thing is that an orthopedist cut them if they are thick or yellowish
Importance of footwear
It is possible to suffer an injury to the feet and not notice it until very late if you suffer from neuropathy or nerve damage, because the sensitivity of the feet is affected.
To prevent this from happening, shoes will be worn all the time and the following tips will be followed:
- The shoes will not be made of plastic or other material that prevents the flow of air.They will be chosen from canvas, suede or leather
- The doctor will be consulted about wearing special shoes
- Avoid socks or stockings with seams that cause pressure points or that fit tightly on the legs
- The interior of the shoes will be checked daily for knocks or tears that cause irritation or pressure
- Do not wear shoes for long periods. They will be removed or changed every 5 hours
- Avoid sandals, flip flops, open-toed shoes or high heels and high heels
- Do not buy tight shoes waiting for them to fit at your feet
- Comfortable shoes with enough space will be chosen
- Wear adjustable shoes with Velcro, buckles or laces
- Socks can provide an extra layer of protection
- Wear socks on the bed to protect the feet from the cold
- Use clean and dry socks
Symptoms of foot problems
The symptoms promptly notice problems in the feet.
The doctor will be contacted if you notice blisters, infected pimples, ulcers, red spots or ingrown toenails, if hair is lost anywhere on the foot or leg or with a thickening or yellowing of the nails.
Also with loss of sensitivity to heat, cold or touch, with changes in the shape or color of the feet and to suffer burning, pain or tingling.
The complications are caused by high levels of blood sugar, which over time affect the circulation and can damage the nerves.
Wounds, sores or ingrown toenails favor infections that will be difficult to treat due to poor circulation. Those that can not be cured will cause gangrene and, consequently, a potential need to amputate the affected area, from the toe of one foot, the foot, to part of the leg.
When to go with your doctor?
The doctor will undertake a complete examination of the feet at least once a year. The frequency will be higher if the patient has a history of foot problems.
It is not excluded that the doctor recommends a podiatrist specialized in the care of the diabetic foot or that offers the patient information about special shoes that can help him.