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15 Rules for Preventing Diabetic Foot Problems

Image of diabetic foot

Uncontrolled diabetes is extremely dangerous to your feet. Even a small cut can have serious consequences.  Diabetes may also reduce blood flow to the feet, making it harder to heal an injury or resist infection. Because of these problems, you might not notice a pebble in your shoe. You could develop a blister on your foot, a foot ulcer, which can lead to an infection. Infections left untreated commonly lead to amputation of your foot or leg.

To avoid serious foot problems that could result in losing a toe, foot or leg, be sure to follow these diabetic foot care rules.

15 Diabetic Foot Care Rules

1. Inspect your feet daily. Check your feet for cuts, blisters, redness, swelling, or nail problems. Use a magnifying hand mirror to look at the bottom of your feet. Call your doctor if you notice anything.

2. Wash your feet in warm water. Proper foot care requires that you keep your feet clean by washing them daily. Only use lukewarm water, like the temperature you'd use on a newborn baby. With hot water, you could burn the skin on your feet and not know it.

3. Be gentle when bathing your feet. Wash them using a soft washcloth or sponge. Dry by blotting or patting, and make sure to carefully dry between the toes .

4. Moisturize your feet - but not between your toes. Use a moisturizer daily to keep dry skin from itching or cracking. But don't moisturize between the toes. This could encourage a fungal infection.

5. Cut nails carefully and straight across. Also, file the edges. Don't cut them too short, since this could lead to ingrown toenails.

6. Never trim corns or calluses. No "bathroom surgery" - let your doctor do the job.

7. Wear clean, dry socks. Change them daily.

8. Avoid wearing the wrong type of socks. Avoid tight elastic bands, they reduce circulation. Don't wear thick or bulky socks as they can fit poorly and irritate the skin.

9. Wear socks to bed. If your feet get cold at night, wear socks. Never use a heating pad or hot water bottle.

10. Shake out your shoes and inspect the inside before wearing. Remember, you may not feel a pebble--so always shake out your shoes before putting them on.

11. Keep your feet warm and dry. Don't get your feet wet in snow or rain. Wear warm socks and shoes in winter.

12. Never walk barefoot. Not even at home! You could step on something and get a scratch or cut.

13. Take care of your diabetes. Keep your blood sugar levels under control.

14. Don't smoke. Smoking restricts blood flow in your feet.

15. Get periodic foot exams. See your podiatrist on a regular basis for an exam to help prevent the foot complications of diabetes.

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