It is important to regularly take care of your feet if you want to keep them healthy, strong and beautiful (if feet can really be called that). Our feet health is usually overlooked, but we should remember that feet are a vital part of the body and should never be ignored. This holds especially true for people with diabetes as diabetic foot problems are a major cause of permanent disability in people with high blood sugar levels.
Diabetic foot care cream is essential since damage to our feet can cause serious harm to bodily functions. Bad foot care can affect even the most fundamental of our physical activities like walking, running, exercising, or even just standing. Our feet get the most wear and tear during the course of life. All of the pressure and movement can not only affect your feet but through bad feet health, it can affect your knees, hips and even your spine.
What Steps Should I Take for Diabetic Foot Care
There are some simple measures that you can adopt to make sure that your feet stay healthy. These include regularly checking your feet for problems, taking a little extra precaution to avoid wounds and infection, wearing the right socks and shoes. For diabetics using specially formulated foot creams do not just help your feet stay softer and void of cracks, but helps them to stay healthier. Diabetic foot care products are not foo foo items but a necessity when foot issues arise. Let’s take a detailed look at how you can adopt these foot care steps easily to keep your feet healthier.
Step 1: Inspect Your Feet
The first step is to stay on top of your feet health by inspecting them daily. There are some things that you should always look for when inspecting your feet. These include:
- Check your feet for any temperature differences. Any kind of difference between two different parts of your feet can indicate a lack of blood flow to your feet.
- Look for any red patches which can mean there is some kind of infection. Look out also for red streaks.
- Observe if you have any thin patches or shiny skin which can mean a lack of blood flow to the area.
- Check for any pain, numbness, or tingling sensation. All of these could mean nerve issues.
- Check your toenails. See if there is any red or puffy skin along with the nail or if there is any tenderness or pain near this area.
- If you have lesser hair than usual on or near your feet, this could mean reduced blood flow.
- Look for cuts, scrapes, sores, or cracked skin. Even the smallest of problems can lead to an infection if not tended to in a timely fashion.
- Keep a lookout for lumps in the skin, blisters, bruises, or bumps
Any of these signs can indicate a serious issue. Consult your doctor before an infection can set in.
Step 2: Take Extra Precautions for Diabetic Foot Care
After inspecting your feet, the following steps should be taken to ensure proper care of your feet if you have diabetes.
- Wash your feet daily with a mild soap. Use the soap to lather up your feet. Use clean water at room temperature or warm water. Never use hot water.
- Use a clean towel or a clean piece of cloth to dry your feet. Freshly laundered towels are better. Completely dry your feet. Dry the area between your toes as well. Germs can grow if moisture is left between these areas.
- Trim your toenails with care. Cut straight across. Do not dig at the corners. Do not cut the toenails too short.
- Never walk barefoot, even in your own house. Always look down when you walk so that you do not step on any sharp objects, nails, sharp edges, or broken glass. For diabetics, healing takes much longer.
- If you have complications from diabetes like neuropathy, do not cut your toenails. See a foot care specialist regularly and follow their advice.
- If you have warts or calluses. Do not use razors to trim them or over the counter drugs to dissolve them. Always show it to a doctor and take proper care.
- Use diabetic foot care products that are specially designed for people like you. These can be proper shoes, padded socks, lotions and foot cream for diabetics. Never use gadgets that shave skin if you have diabetes. The Pedegg is an example of a great little gadget for most people but something that should not be used by diabetics.
Step 3: Use Diabetic Foot Care Products
Many diabetic foot care products are now available to make it easier for you to take care of your feet. Proper use of these products can help you avoid diabetic foot complications.
The Right Soap
Use a soap that is mild with a balanced PH ranging from 4 to 5. Most of the soaps nowadays have fragrance and sodium lauryl sulfate. These soaps are not good for your skin as they can affect the PH balance of your skin. PH balance or acidity levels of your skin are important as they can trigger irritation on the skin. High PH can disrupt the skin’s balanced PH, making it less acidic. This can lead to dryness. If you can get a mild soap with antibacterial properties, always use that on your skin.
The Padded Socks
Socks for diabetics are specially designed to keep their feet dry and warm. Padded socks made from a material having moisture-wicking properties work best. Padded socks keep your feet from getting injuries as they cushion your feet when you walk. Use socks that are seamless as seams can rub against your skin and cause blisters. Use socks that are made of breathable and warm fabric. Breathable fabric keeps the feet dry and warm fabric can help improve blood circulation in your feet. Do not use socks that are too tight. This can cause discomfort and moisture to build up between your toes.
The Right Shoes
When you buy shoes, always look for lightweight material which will let you move easily and let your feet breathe. Choose materials like leather, suede, or canvas. Use shoes with shock-absorbing properties. Shoes with laces work best so that you can tighten or loosen the shoe as you need. Shoes with solid backs provide you with extra support, preventing injuries. Your doctor might recommend that you use In-depth shoes, healing shoes, or shoes that are custom-fitted to you.
In-depth shoes can accommodate calluses or blisters so that you are not uncomfortable when you wear them. You might have to use healing shoes if you are recovering from foot surgery or foot sores. They can be closed toes or open sandals. You should avoid open-toe shoes unless your doctor advises their use. Orthopedic or custom-made shoes might be used if you have some physical deformity due to complications of diabetes.
Diabetic Foot Cream
If you have diabetes and dry feet, you are going to need a cream or a lotion specially designed for such a condition. You can either use a diabetic dry skin cream or a diabetic foot pain relief cream. These two types of products provide two different functions. The former helps with dry feet whereas the latter can help you provide relief from the kind of a pain in your feet from illness or complications.
It is better if you use a diabetic friendly dry skin cream. If you start using such a cream early and make it a part of your daily routine, you can avoid further complications and even certain kinds of pain in your feet. A great cream for dry diabetic dry, cracked feet is Pedi Cream, which leaves your feet smooth and moisturized after every use.
Step 4: Use the Diabetic Foot Cream the Right Way
If you are using specially designed foot cream for diabetes, such as Pedi cream, there are some simple instructions that you should follow for best results:
- Use the cream twice a day on washed and dried feet. Once in the morning and once in the night, before you go to bed.
- Use two dollops of Pedi cream, on each foot for best results.
- Apply gently without force and completely let the cream soak in.
- Do not apply on an open wound or bleeding skin. (see your doctor for this; right away)
- Always test any cream on a small area first, before beginning regular use.
- If you have a serious skin condition, consult a medical professional before you begin using any foot cream for diabetics.
Especially made foot cream for diabetes such as pedi creams are better for you than ordinary creams, as our ingredients are specially picked to provide you with better results for your dry, cracked feet. Smoother softer skin is one way to avoid diabetic complications of your feet by keeping them smooth and without dryness.
Step 5: Work your Feet Properly
Taking care of your feet in diabetes also includes working your feet properly to keep it healthy and maintaining its proper function. You should always:
- Use your feet. Your feet were made for movement. Do not stay off your feet for hours unless you are sleeping.
- Spend time barefoot. If you have diabetes, make sure that you let your feet breathe but keep your feet off the ground for this time, Rest; watch a movie or read a book.
- If you are a runner, or you exercise regularly, try and listen to your feet. Do not try and do more than your capacity.
- Walk on your heels.
- Try exercising your feet regularly with stretching exercises.
- Try and shift weight between your feet, if you are standing for long hours.
Why Do I Need Extra Care If I Am Diabetic?
If you have diabetes, you do need to take extra care of your feet. Diabetic foot problems can cause serious complications to your health. Diabetes is a disease where blood sugar or glucose levels are always higher than usual. These high sugar levels are because of disruption in the function of a body hormone called Insulin. Insulin converts extra sugar in the body into different molecules and saves it for use for another time. When insulin’s function is disrupted due to insulin resistance or decreased Insulin sensitivity, the blood sugar levels remain high.
For diabetics, minor cuts and scrapes can cause complicated reactions in the body leading to wounds that heal slowly, partially, or in some cases, never heal. If the body reacts aggressively, these wounds can even lead to serious conditions like gangrene, osteomyelitis, and sepsis. In gangrene there is tissue destruction, in osteomyelitis, the infection can spread to tissues and bone, and in sepsis, the infection can travel to the whole body. Such conditions are then treated with the removal of tissue or even amputation of body parts.
People with diabetes also have a condition called neuropathy or nerve damage due to high blood sugar levels. Diabetes can also mean more chances of bacterial infections, according to research. So, as it is said prevention is better than cure. You should follow the same advice. Take care of your feet. So that you do not have to worry about these serious complications later.