Caring for your feet when you have diabetes is always important. Why not use this time of self-isolation to get into a regular routine of checking your feet?
Serious complications can often be avoided by careful self-management and through regular check-ups. Podiatrists can help prevent diabetic foot ulcers and treat them if they do occur. They also manage ingrown toenails, treat callus and corns, injuries to the feet – including charcot neuropathy – and provide advice when things go wrong. Unfortunately, a loss of sensation in the feet means that many simple injuries such as cuts, corns and calluses, can go unnoticed. If untreated, these injuries may not heal due to lack of blood supply and infection.
If you are stuck in isolation for this period checking your feet daily is very important.
Here are some helpful tips for looking after your feet:
- Keep your feet well hydrated; it helps ensure your skin does not crack and cause an entry for infection. Hydrate your feet with a moisturiser such as sorboline. Or for really dry feet try a cream with urea, however make sure that the cream you choose is suitable for people with diabetes.
- While applying mosituriser, check your feet for any changes, such as changes in temperature, changes in colour, or cuts and grazes.
- Wear white socks at home so if an injury occurs to your feet you will easily notice blood on your socks.
- Protect your feet by wearing slippers or shoes around the home to avoid injury and falls. Don’t forget to check the inside of your shoes for things that could cause an injury, such as stones or even sharp edges on the shoe lining.
- Make sure you dry your feet carefully (especially between your toes). This helps prevent fungal infections and skin breakdown between your toes.
- Keep the circulation flowing in your feet by staying as active as possible while in isolation. Walk a few laps around your clothesline daily or do some gentle exercises with your feet to keep them moving. When you are sitting try to keep your feet moving – try writing the alphabet in the air with your feet to keep the muscles activated and the blood pumping.
- If you are unable to see your feet and you don’t have anyone at home to help you check them, the use of a mirror can be helpful. A mirror on the end of a telescopic stick can be purchased from an automotive shop and used to check the bottom of your feet.
If you notice anything out of the ordinary with your feet, it is important to get it looked at as soon as possible to avoid serious complications. If you are in the Canberra region and would like to see a podiatrist, please come and in and meet the team at The Walking Clinic.