Diabetes can cause your feet double trouble. First of all, diabetes may reduce the flow of blood to your feet, which deprives them of nutrients and oxygen. That makes it hard for cuts, sores and blisters to heal. Second of all, peripheral neuropathy, which is diabetic nerve damage, may cause your feet to go numb. When you are unable to feel blisters and cuts, you are much more likely to end up with infections and sores.
If you don't treat or even notice the sore, they may become deeply infected which can result in amputation.
Another thing that can be caused by diabetic peripheral neuropathy is sharp pain in the feet. You might end up being extremely sensitive to even the slightest touch, such as from sheets on a bed.
Fortunately, a bit of TLC can go a long way towards preventing having foot problems that are caused by diabetes.
1. Thoroughly check both of your feet every day.
Carefully check your feet on a daily basis, and make sure that you also check in between our toes. Infections and blisters may start in between your toes, and you might not feel it until they become infected or irritated with diabetic neuropathy.
If you have any physical challenges that prevents you from being able to check your feet, ask for help from a family member.
2. Wash with warm water - not hot.
Briefly wash both feet every day using warm water. You might not feel how hot the water is with your feet, so use your hands first to test the water. Avoid soaking in water for too long, since waterlogged sores will have a more difficult time healing.
Dry your feet immediately, and don't forget to gently dry in between your toes.
3. Be sure that your shoes fit correctly
It is a very worthwhile investment. Even the slightest misfit or rubbing shoe may cause a blister than then turns into a sore which gets infected and doesn't heal.
Purchase better-fitting shoes or maybe try a different pair of socks, even when you have only minor signs of irritation or redness, since you might not feel it getting worse. Prior to put on shoes or buying them, check out the shoes for any sharp edges, rough seams or any other kinds of objects that might hurt your feet. Then gradually break your shoes in. Orthotic soles can be a good option and provide the support that stops longer term issues.
4. Avoid going barefoot.
Always wear slippers or shoes. Always wear socks with shoes, given that man made, plastic or leather shoe materials might irritate your skin and cause blisters.
Although you might prefer how thin socks, nylon knee-highs or hose look, you might find that they don't give your heels or toes enough protection. Wear thicker cocks in order to cushion any sore sports or calluses and to provide your feet with padding.
5. Speak up.
Quite often nerve damage is unpredictable. Keep your doctor informed about changes with sensation in your legs, feet or toes. Speak up also if you notice any pins-and-needles, tingling, or any other signs that are unusual - even if it seems minor. A potential foot amputation is not something to mess around with.
6. Stay soft yet dry
Your skin might be cracked and dry due to the high glucose levels. Also when you have cracked skin it more difficult for infections to heal and easier for bacteria to reach under your skin. Use a little bit of skin lotions every day, but also make sure that your feet feel dry, and no sticky or damp, afterward. Try to keep the lotion out from between your toes.
To avoid getting ingrown toenails, keep your toenails filed smooth and trimmed. You might find that trimming your nails is easier after using lotion on them, when the cuticles are softer.
After bathing or showering use a pumice stone to softly file down calluses or corns.
7. Try doing non-impact exercise.
Tai chi, yoga, cycling and swimming are all very popular exercises methods that also minimally impact your feet. Before starting on any exercise program speak with your doctor first.
8. Fix hammertoes, corns and bunions.
You have a classic bunion if your big toe sharply slants in towards your other toes, and there is a large bump on your big toe's knuckle. Corns are spots of rough, thick skin, where there is a build up of tissue on the toes that are barraged constantly by too much pressure or rubbing. A hammertoe, which is a buckled-under toe, can be due to muscle weakness that diabetic nerve damage causes. These all make it hard to comfortably fit shoes.
A god podiatrist will be able to help you to care for your feet better and fix these problems.