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Diabetic foot problems are a major health concern and are a common cause of hospitalization.
Most foot problems that people with diabetes arise from two serious complications of the disease: nerve damage and poor blood circulation.
The lack of feeling and poor blood flow can allow a small blister to progress to a serious infection in a matter of days.
Chronic nerve damage (neuropathy) can cause dry and cracked skin, which provides an opportunity for bacteria to enter and cause infection.
The consequences can range from hospitalization for antibiotics to amputation of a toe or foot.
For people with diabetes careful daily inspection of the feet is essential to overall health and the prevention of damaging foot problems.
Footwear that is too tight too loose or without enough support can lead to unwanted stress on the feet, ankles, lower leg, hip and spine.
This ongoing pressure can cause pain and injuries that may limit or prevent participation in work, sports and hobbies.
Fortunately many feet related problems can be prevented with footwear that is appropriate for an individual’s feet, body and lifestyle.
Never walk bare foot. The nerve damage decreases sensation so you may not notice that little pebbles or objects have gotten stuck in your foot. This can lead to a massive infection. Always wearing shoes or slippers reduces this risk.
Wash your feet everyday with mild soap and warm water. Test the water temperature with your hand first. Do not soak your feet.
When drying them pat each foot with a towel rather than rubbing vigorously.
Be careful drying between your toes.
Use lotion to keep the skin of your feet soft and moist. This prevents dry skin cracks and decreases the risk of infection.
Do not put lotion between the toes.
Trim your nails straight across. Avoid cutting the corners. Use a nail file or emery board. If you find an ingrown toenail see your doctor. Good nail care is important in preventing infections.
Do not use antiseptic solutions, drugstore medications, heating pads or sharp instruments on your feet.
Do not put your feet near radiators or in front of the fireplace.
Always keep your feet warm. Wear loose socks to bed. Do not get your feet wet in snow or rain. Wear warm socks and shoes in winter.
Do not smoke. Smoking damages blood vessels and decreases the ability to deliver oxygen. In combination with diabetes it significantly increases your risk of amputation.
Choose and wear your shoes carefully. A poor fitting shoe can cause an ulcer and lead to an infection.
Buy new shoes late in the day when your feet are larger. Buy shoes that are comfortable without a breaking in period.
Check how your shoes fits in width, length, back, bottom of heel and sole.
Have your feet measured every time you buy new shoes.
Your foot changes shape over years and you may not be the same shoe size you were 5years ago.
Avoid pointed toe styled and high heels.
Do not wear the same pair every day.
Avoid long walks without break .Check for signs of pressure and ulcers.