Diabetic? Make Sure You're Taking Care Of Your Feet

When you're a diabetic, you need to take better care of your feet than the average person. Due to the poor peripheral circulation that often comes with diabetes, a minor issue like an ingrown toenail or blister can turn ugly quickly, leading to serious infections that may even cost you your toes. Follow these tips to take better care of your feet as a diabetic.

Trim your toenails regularly and carefully.

Failing to trim your toenails regularly can lead to ingrown nails, cuts on the toes, and fungal growth. If you are flexible enough to trim your toenails yourself, make sure you're doing this once every week to two weeks. Cut the nails straight across, and be very careful not to cut yourself while trimming them. If you have limited dexterity or are unable to bend to cut your toenails effectively, have a friend, relative or caretaker trim the nails for you.

Wear shoes at all times.

Walking around the house barefoot is not a good idea when you're a diabetic. Stubbing your toe or cutting your foot could be the start of a serious infection. So invest in a comfortable pair of walking shoes that does not rub or irritate your feet, and wear them – along with a well padded pair of socks – at all times when you're awake.

Massage your feet with lotion each day.

Rubbing lotion into your feet each day lowers your risk of infections by keeping the skin soft and healthy. The massaging also helps promote better circulation. Use a non-scented lotion, since perfumes and scents can sometimes irritate the more sensitive skin on your feet. Start by massaging with gentle pressure, and increase the pressure slowly over a period of a few minutes. After you're done massaging your feet, sit down with your feet raised above the level of your heart. This will encourage extra fluid to work its way back into your circulatory system, reducing any swelling in your feet.

See a podiatrist regularly.

It's a good idea to have a yearly checkup with a podiatrist who has experience working with diabetic patients. During this appointment, your doctor can check to ensure you're not developing any ingrown toenails that need to be trimmed. He or she can check for calluses that may suggest your shoes are not fitting properly and let you know if there's anything else you need to change about your foot care regimen to keep your feet in good health.

Don't let diabetes claim your feet. By following the tips above, you'll protect yourself against infections and other problems related to restricted blood flow. For more tips, contact a clinic like Foot & Ankle Care Center PA.