Diabetic foot care at home,🔺daily routine!

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 21 tips you should know to live a full and healthy life with diabetes.

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Hi! We are Diabetes Consciousness and we’re here to explain and clarify topics related to diabetes. 

Today we want to talk about a totally preventive topic, related to home foot care for diabetics.

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If you arrived here looking for information on this topic you will surely know that people with diabetes have a higher risk of suffering foot problems, due to two main reasons: 

1- The progressive damage that deteriorates the nerves that produce loss of sensitivity in addition to tingling or numbness. Because of this neuropathy, a person with diabetes may not know when they have a foot injury and may develop a foot ulcer, which is a serious health threat. 

2- People with diabetes often have poor blood flow in the feet due to changes in the blood vessels caused by the disease. Without good blood flow, wounds can take a long time to heal and may not even heal at all, posing serious health problems.

What daily home care should you follow to prevent foot complications?

1- Let’s talk about the importance of Daily Checkup:

Check the integrity of your feet on a daily basis.  Perhaps you’ve never been so attentive to another part of your body. Just as you are attentive to what’s going on with your face, you should also be attentive to your feet.

Examine your feet, every day. Perform daily foot inspections, use a mirror to inspect the soles, tops and sides of your feet. 

If you find it difficult to see them, ask someone you know for help or seek professional frequent help.

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Check for redness in the skin. Callus formation, cuts, bruises, scrapes, scratches, or cracks, blisters, ulcers, and anything else that looks different or unusual. 

Check toenails. Color changes, jagged edges, bruising and swelling of the skin around them, look for tears, irregular edges, color changes and trauma.

 

2- What about daily exercise?

Exercise as we know makes an essential part of balancing blood glucose and preventing complications in diabetes. 

However, when you exercise every day, you should be very conscious of the comfort and strain you put on your feet.  

If you already have symptoms of neuropathy in your feet, it is advisable to try cycling or swimming. Yet, if you have an ulcer you should avoid all exercise since it can easily complicate it.

 

3- Washing

You should wash your feet daily. For this we recommend:

Don’t use hot water, use warm soapy water. Check the water temperature with a bath thermometer or with the elbow. Patients may have neuropathy and decreased sensitivity so may not notice the temperature. If the water is too hot, the patient may even get burned without noticing it.

Use neutral soap.

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Do not leave the feet in water for more than 5 minutes to prevent the skin from macerating. Don´t use a massager on your feet. No form of foot soak is appropriate for individuals with diabetes.

Avoid using rough or horsehair brushes and foams that may injure the skin. Use a soft bath foam. Reduce callus build-up gently with a soft pumice stone if extremely necessary only.

You should wash the entire foot with special attention between the toes

 

4- Drying:

Dry the feet well with a soft towel and pay special attention  between the toes.

 

5- Moisturizing:

If you have dry skin, apply a thin layer of moisturizing cream or lotion on the soles and on the dry areas, but never between the toes. Moist skin makes it easier for fungus to grow and infections to grow.

 

6- Nail Care:

Nails that are too long, too short or badly cut can cause problems and lead to wounds and infections.

Do not cut them too short: Clip your nails straight across, leaving a 3 mm (⅛ inch) free edge across the top of the nail. Pumice or file the nail corners so they are not sharp.  

Cut the nails straight. Leave the edges straight and do not cut the corners. smooth the tips with a cardboard file.

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Cut the nails using blunt-tipped scissors to avoid cuts.

The best time is after washing the feet, when they are softer.

If you have vision or dexterity problems, ask a family member or a podiatrist for help, especially if your nails are thick and hard.

 

7- Temperatures:

Avoid extreme temperatures. For example, do not use heating pads on your feet and always check water temperature before stepping into it. 

Wear protective warm boots against the cold in winter. 

Do not bring your feet close to fire, stoves or radiators, and do not use hot water bottles or electric blankets to warm them.

 

8- To finish the routine:

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Take a photo of anything unusual

Clean all reusable tools with soap warm water  and let them air dry. 

Once dry disinfect the tools with 70% isopropyl alcohol by wiping.

What should you know about shoes and socks?

Never walk barefoot. Always wear shoes.

Before putting on socks, check for tears or seams that could rub your foot .

Wear shoes that fit. 

Wear the right type of footwear for the activity you are doing.

Shake and check the inside of shoes before putting them on.

People with neuropathy do not feel pain from objects, such as tacks, or rough spots such as seams that damage the skin of the feet.

Proper footwear is one of the key points in keeping your feet healthy. As a person living with diabetes, you should make sure that your shoes fit properly to avoid foot injuries.

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Footwear should be based on your lifestyle (work, home and leisure) and your activity level.

When buying shoes, make sure they’re comfortable from the start, neither too loose nor too tight, and never buy them expecting them to stretch over time.

Air and keep your shoes dry. Also  change your socks or stockings daily.

The right shoes should be made of breathable material, like leather or canvas, light and flexible, with non-slip soles and not too thick, should not have inner seams and the heel should be less than 5 cm. 

Do not use plastic shoes or materials that prevent the foot from transpireing.  Sandals are also not recommended because they leave the toes and heels unprotected.

When shoes are new, start wearing them gradually; a few days beforehand, wear them at home for half-hour periods, gradually increasing the time.

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Socks and stockings should be soft, preferably cotton, yarn or wool, without seams or folds. Do not use tight elastic materials, because they hinder circulation.

Remember, the podiatrist and nurses specialized in foot care are part of the professional team recommended for the care of your diabetes, as important as visiting your physician and diabetes educator. 

When you visit your doctor, remove your shoes and socks and make sure you get a proper inspection. Keep in mind that not every time there will be a second chance in front of an infection.

 

Caution

 

If your health-care provider has told you that your risk for complications is low and you can do your own skin and nail care, follow the steps above

And keep in mind, if you do your own skin and nail care, injuries can occur that can also cause serious damage.

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So if your risk is too high, only a trained professional should do the skin and nail care for your feet, beyond daily foot washing, drying and moisturizing.

Do not attempt to treat yourself if you have any foot problems. Call and see your provider right away.

Diabetes is a condition that demands a change in lifestyle. So it is intelligent to establish realistic and practical care that reduces the risk of developing complications.

We hope you can apply this information in your daily life.

 

If you want to know more about topics related to Diabetes, we invite you to SUBSCRIBE to our youtube channel. And to activate the bell to be the first to receive notifications of new topics about diabetes.  

And if you want, visit our blog for more information like this.  

And remember to comment your doubts or suggestions below. 

See you soon!

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If you arrived here looking for information on this topic you will surely know that people with diabetes have a higher risk of suffering foot problems, due to two main reasons: 

1.The progressive damage that deteriorates the nerves that produce loss of sensitivity in addition to tingling or numbness. Because of this neuropathy, a person with diabetes may not know when they have a foot injury and may develop a foot ulcer, which is a serious health threat. 

  1. People with diabetes often have poor blood flow in the feet due to changes in the blood vessels caused by the disease. Without good blood flow, wounds can take a long time to heal and may not even heal at all, posing serious health problems.

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 21 tips you should know to live a full and healthy life with diabetes.

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