If you have diabetes you probably know the importance of taking care of your feet, which are one of the most vulnerable body parts to restricted blood flow and nerve damage. This puts you at higher risk for calluses, corns, bunions, blisters, ulcers - and high blood sugar means minor injuries can take longer to heal and risk getting infected.
An important complication of diabetes to point out is that about half of people with diabetes have nerve damage, commonly in their legs and feet. This affects the person’s ability to feel pressure, pain and temperature which are important sensory feedback to let you know if you’re in pain or not.
Have your feet checked by a podiatrist or another health professional at least once a year, but to support you further, we’ve put together our top 5 best diabetic foot care tips to help you confidently manage the disease.
Inspect your feet every day for cracks, wounds and sores
Nerve damage is a common complication of diabetes that makes it difficult to notice if you have sores, cuts or cracks in your feet. This is why it’s important to examine all areas of your feet each day. Check for redness, swelling, cuts, pus discharge, splinters or blisters - carefully inspect the skin between toes, around heels, the sole as well as toenails.
If you have trouble examining certain parts of your feet, you can place a mirror on the floor or ask a friend or loved one for help.
Properly wash and dry your feet daily
Use lukewarm (not hot) water and gentle soap to clean your feet. Always test the temperature of the water with your hands if you may have lost some sensitivity in your feet. Thoroughly dry your feet using a soft towel, making sure to dry in between the toes as those crevices tend to trap moisture, which can turn into fungal infections.
Moisturise to avoid dry skin
After cleaning and drying your feet, apply a light layer of moisturiser to avoid dry, cracked skin.
Never go barefoot
Whether you’re inside or out, be sure to protect your feet with closed toes, non-slip shoes to avoid the risk of small cuts, scrapes and other sharp objects like splinters or glass.
When choosing the right footwear for diabetics, look for something that’s closed-toe and heel, has soft insides and laces or velcro straps for an adjustable fit to minimise chafing and allow blood flow to the feet.
Use circulation or compression socks to assist with blood flow
Circulation socks not only keep your feet warm and protected, but are specifically designed to promote healthy blood flow in the feet. It’s high cut length and snug-fitting pressure gently squeezes on the leg to help the blood vessels circulate blood better and ease swelling that may occur in the feet and ankles.
If you’re shopping for diabetic-friendly footwear and circulation socks help in managing the condition while keeping your feet protected, Caring Clothing offers a wide range of specially-made footwear and clothing for both men and women in a variety of sizes that you can find something that suits your needs.