When you have diabetes, you should engage in a foot care routine that helps you avoid injuries and keeps you aware of any changes in your feet. In addition to gentle foot care, there are other ways you can reduce problems.
Keep Your Feet Dry
As a diabetic, you are more prone to infections throughout your body, and your feet are no exception. After bathing or showering, make sure you thoroughly dry your feet before wearing socks, paying special attention to the area between your toes. Use foot powders to help keep your feet dry. An alternative to foot or baby powder is cornstarch. Since cornstarch does not have any fragrances or additives, it is ideal to use as a body powder, especially if you have sensitive skin.
If you notice any signs of infection, such as irritation, itching or sores that weep, be extra vigilant about changing your socks and shoes. While you are treating fungal infections with retail or prescription products, avoid re-infecting your feet with contaminated socks and shoes. Use a disinfecting spray on the inside of your shoes and wash your socks in hot water to help kill any residual fungus. Consider only wearing white socks while you treat foot fungus, since you can add chlorine bleach to the wash.
Buy The Right Shoes
Your shoes should always be comfortable to avoid injury to your feet. If you choose to wear heels, stick with heels of less than two inches and ones with a wider platform. This can help reduce additional pressure points on your feet. When possible, wear socks to minimize any friction from the lining or seams of your shoes. Avoid shoes made from rigid material because they are rarely accommodating to the natural changes in your feet throughout the day. If your shoes do not have adequate cushioning, simple inserts can help reduce pressure points.
Use Diabetic Socks
If you deal with significant problems related to diabetes, such as edema and/or neuropathy, you may want to consider using diabetic socks. When you are looking for the right socks, make sure you can try them on. You need to consider both your foot size and your ankle circumference when making your purchase. If the socks cause constriction around your ankle, they can exacerbate swelling and nerve damage. You may want to purchase multiple sizes if you experience significant ankle and foot swelling at different times. The socks should provide adequate compression, without being too tight.
As a diabetic, you may be more prone to foot problems. By taking a proactive approach to your foot care, you can reduce diabetes-related foot complications. Visit Camden County Foot & Ankle Center if you have any questions.