November – Diabetes Awareness Month
Millions of children and adults live with diabetes, but it requires health management. One thing diabetes patients can do to help prevent complications down the road is to check their feet each day.
Taking care of the feet is very important because something as seemingly simple as a blister or stepping on something can lead to many complications in someone who is diabetic.
Here are some foot care tips for diabetes patients in order to prevent determenital complications:
• Take care of your diabetes. Work with your health care team to keep your blood glucose in your target range.
• Check your feet every day. Look at your bare feet for red spots, cuts, swelling, and blisters. If you cannot see the bottoms of your feet, use a mirror or ask someone for help.
• Be more active. Plan your physical activity program with your health team.
• Ask your podiatrist about Medicare coverage for special shoes and insoles
• Wash your feet every day. Dry them carefully, especially between the toes.
• Keep your skin soft and smooth. Rub a thin coat of skin lotion over the top and bottom of each foot, but not between the toes.
• If you can see and reach your toenails, trim them when needed. Trim your toenails straight across and file the edges with an emery board or nail file. If you cannot see and/or trim your own toenails, please schedule an appointment with a podiatrist.
• Wear shoes and socks at all times. Never walk barefoot. Wear comfortable shoes that fit well and protect your feet. Check inside your shoes before wearing them. Make sure the lining is smooth and there are no objects inside.
• Protect your feet from hot and cold. Wear shoes at the beach or on hot pavement. Don't put your feet into hot water. Test water before putting your feet in it just as you would before bathing a baby. Never use hot water bottles, heating pads, or electric blankets. You can burn your feet without realizing it.
• Keep blood flowing to your feet. Put your feet up when sitting. Wiggle your toes and move your ankles up and down for 5 minutes, two or three times a day. Don't cross your legs for long periods of time. Don't smoke.