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Managing Diabetic Feet

When you have diabetes, your feet need extra care and attention. Diabetes can damage the nerve endings and blood vessels in your feet, making you less likely to notice when your feet are injured. Diabetes also limits your body's ability to fight infection and get blood to areas that need it. If you get a minor foot injury, it could become an ulcer or a serious infection. With good foot care, you can prevent most of these problems. 

How can you care for yourself at home? 

◦ Wash your feet every day. Use warm (not hot) water. Check the water temperature with your wrists or other part of your body, not your feet.

◦ Dry your feet well. Pat them dry. Do not rub the skin on your feet too hard. Dry well between your toes. If the skin on your feet stays moist, bacteria or a fungus can grow, which can lead to infection. 

◦ Keep your skin soft. Use moisturizing skin cream to keep the skin on your feet soft and prevent calluses and cracks. But do not put the cream between your toes, and stop using any cream that causes a rash. 

◦ Clean underneath your toenails carefully. Do not use a sharp object to clean underneath your toenails. Use the blunt end of a nail file or other rounded tool. 

◦ Trim and file your toenails straight across to prevent ingrown toenails. Use a nail clipper, not scissors. Use an emery board to smooth the edges. 

◦ Look for shoes that have plenty of space around the toes. This helps prevent bunions and blisters. 

◦ Try on shoes while wearing the kind of socks you will usually wear with the shoes. ◦ Avoid plastic shoes. They may rub your feet and cause blisters. Good shoes should be made of materials that are flexible and breathable, such as leather or cloth. 

◦ Break in new shoes slowly by wearing them for no more than an hour a day for several days. Take extra time to check your feet for red areas, blisters, or other problems after you wear new shoes. 

 

©2006-2021 Healthwise, Incorporated. 

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