Diabetes is a chronic condition that affects the way the body processes glucose (sugar) in the blood. It can cause long-term health problems, including foot problems. That’s why it’s important to take care of your feet if you have diabetes.
Diabetes can cause nerve damage (neuropathy) and poor circulation, which can result in a loss of sensation in the feet. This can make it difficult for you to feel cuts, blisters, or other foot injuries. If left untreated, even small injuries can quickly become infected and lead to more serious problems, such as ulcers or in some cases amputations.
To keep your feet healthy if you have diabetes, it’s important to:
- Inspect your feet daily: Look for cuts, blisters, redness, swelling, or any other signs of injury or infection. Use a mirror to check the bottoms of your feet if necessary.
- Keep your feet clean and dry: Wash your feet every day with warm water and mild soap, and make sure they’re completely dry before putting on socks or shoes.
- Wear comfortable, well-fitting shoes: Choose shoes that provide good support and cushioning and avoid shoes with tight or pointy toes. Avoid going barefoot, even at home.
- Take care of your skin: Apply moisturiser to your feet every day to keep your skin soft and supple. Avoid using lotions between your toes, as this can create a moist environment that’s conducive to infection.
- Keep your blood sugar levels under control: Maintaining good blood sugar control can help prevent nerve damage and other complications associated with diabetes.
If you have diabetes, it’s important to have regular foot exams by a healthcare provider, as well as any necessary treatments, to keep your feet healthy and prevent serious problems from developing.
Dietitian and Diabetes Educator