When sugar levels are not well controlled, foot problems are one of the common complications a person faces. Hence, diabetic foot care is a must to ensure the body remains immune and the secretion of sweat and oil which lubricates the skin is not impaired. A diabetic person has high chances of nerve damages which can result to pain in the feet, tingling or weakness and in the worst case, neuropathy. Therefore, diabetic foot care is always necessary to keep your feet strong and healthy.
What triggers foot discomfort in diabetic foot care?
Though a diabetic person is most likely to face foot related problems, it is not necessary. With proper diabetic foot care, there should never be a need to worry about any foot problems. However, one should know the common causes that can reduce the health of your feet.
Poorly fitting shoes are one major reason for bad diabetic foot care. Shoe shopping for a diabetic person requires close attention to ensure comfort.
- Nerve damage
If a diabetic person does not keep track of the sugar levels, it can lead to nerve damage. People who have been diabetic for a long time or don’t control their sugar levels can have diabetic foot care problems.
- Going barefoot
Wearing shoes outside can help you protect your feet but there are risks of getting small cuts and scrapes if the feet are not covered inside the house too.
- Delay in treating foot woes
Diabetics who don’t check their feet regularly delay in treating any wounds. Hammer toes, corns or any simple foot woes if not taken seriously can turn infectious within no time. This is one of the main reasons why diabetic foot care should be part of your treatment.
- Moist feet
One of the easy ways to catch foot infection is not keeping the feet dry. When skin is wet, it breaks down easily and is prone to infections.
Smoking effects the entire body and definitely not in a good way. The nicotine in a cigarette deprives the feet to get oxygen rich blood that keeps them healthy.
Why should you think of diabetic foot care?
People who don’t follow a proper diabetic foot care face the dire consequences and end up regretting in the long run. The effects of bad health care of feet are dangerous.
A break in the skin, redness or swelling on the foot is due to poor fitting shoes. Minor cuts or wounds are usually not to be concerned of unlike, in diabetes. Neglecting these minor wounds can be really harmful and can invite infections which will ignite further complications. This is why diabetic foot care is important.
- Athlete’s foot
Athlete’s foot usually begins with peeled, cracked or flaking of skin which progresses to crusted blisters or oozing. This mainly happens due to moist feet and is important to treat early to avoid the bacteria to enter the skin or nails as it can act as an obstacle in diabetic foot care.
- Toenail Fungus
Well, this fungal infection is also caused by the same fungus which is behind athlete’s foot. However, this cannot be easily rid of as improper diabetic foot care can be dangerous. This infection leads to darkening of nails also making them thick, cracked or crumbling.
- Charcot foot
A serious condition where the bones get weakened enough to get fractured and continuous walking can even result in foot to change shape. The nerve damage prevents the oxygen rich blood to reach the bones which lessens the ability to feel pain, heat and cold. This can completely be prevented by proper diabetic foot care.
- Skin changes
Diabetes effect the sweat secretion which lubricates the skin of the feet. The skin might feel dry and peel off. This may urge to moisten the feet by applying oils or creams which only ignites the infection and be . This is why diabetic foot care is a must.
- Poor circulation
As mentioned, diabetes effects the circulation of blood causing the blood vessels to narrow and harden and can act as a hindrance in diabetic foot care. This can increase the risks of heart attacks or stroke for a person who does not follow diabetic foot care tips.
As diabetes reduces the blood flow to the feet, the chances of a diabetic are more likely to get their foot or leg amputated than a non-diabetic person. This is majorly because diabetics are more prone to Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD) and can be prevented through early diabetic foot care.
Elevated sugar levels lessen the capability of sense to feel pain. The nerve damage by diabetes causes this effect which is known as Neuropathy. This condition causes weakness, numbness and pain especially in hands and feet and affect diabetic foot care.
What should you look out for?
Though diabetic foot care is a need for healthy life of feet, many of them turn blind eye to the signs. What they don’t realise is the importance of early diagnosis. If detected early, one can reduce the complications of diabetes. The signs are shown more at night, and includes
- Sharp pain or cramps
- Increase in sensitivity.
- A tingling/burning sensation
- Lessening of ability to feel pain
- Loss of balance
- Regular and foot woes such as ulcers, bone and joint pain
- Numb feeling in the feet
- A cut or wound which does not seem to be healing
- Weakness or
- Any change in the regular activities like digestion, urination, etc.
These signs or symptoms don’t always indicate nerve damage but they might be signals for some serious medical condition which should be concerned. These signs can also mean that the diabetic foot care is not proper.
What can you do for diabetic foot care?
Though every serious condition requires medication, there are certain steps which you can take to prevent complications and have a proper diabetic foot care.
- Do not take diabetes only as a sugar related problem. Since it can affect the nerves easily and quickly, checking your feet at least twice a day should be part of your diabetic foot care plan. Do not take any small cuts or wounds lightly.
- Since diabetic people are likely to not able to sense any pain, it is better to avoid hot tubs. Or else, check the water temperature with your elbow before getting into the tub. This is important in diabetic foot care as burns take time to heal.
- Invest enough time in buying the correct pair of shoes. This is one of the key ways to have a proper diabetic foot care. It is better to use prescription shoes or shoe inserts to avoid pain in the feet. Similarly, it is better to buy socks without seams, preferably made of cotton or any fabric that controls moisture.
- Do not go barefoot. Walking outside or inside without shoes can invite infections and worsen the situation if you are under diabetic foot care.
- Always trim your toenails with a safety nail clipper. If you have difficulty with vision, take help from any family member but do not take this step lightly as trimming toenails is part of diabetic foot care.
- Remove any items that you are likely to bump into. Keep the pathways clutter free at night.
- Always try to keep your skin dry. As stated, moist feet draws infections and does not help in diabetic foot care. Wash your feet regularly and remove sweaty socks or shoes after coming from outside.
- Using moisturizers should be part of diabetic foot care but avoid applying between toes as it can moisten the feet and break the skin easily.
- People with diabetes must go easy on feet especially if you have neuropathy. Exercises that don’t put pressure on feet are recommended in proper diabetic foot care.
- Quit smoking, even though it seems as a very small step but can do wonders by adding it in your diabetic foot care plan.
- Control the sugar levels. Even though controlling sugar levels is necessary, it is very important in diabetic foot care. Diabetic patients tend to forget that only by taking medication they can’t control sugar levels. There is a need to bring a change in the lifestyle and adapt to healthy food. However, it is not as easy it seems. BeatO is a diabetes management company which assures to control sugar levels by natural ways. They help you connect with diabetics educators who excel in this area and are just a call away. They also conduct regular foot examinations which help to analyse the condition and its severity and provide tailor-made diabetic foot care plans.
In short, the best diabetic foot care is IPPC( Inspect, Protect, Prevent, Consult). With a little extra care, give your feet a treat for life. And we wish, your feet takes you wherever your heart wants to go.