5 Helpful Tips to Care For Your Diabetic Foot at Home

When you have diabetes, high levels of circulating glucose in your blood can damage your blood vessels and nerves. One serious complication is diabetic neuropathy, which can make your feet feel tingly, painful, or numb. Although getting regular medical check-ups and treatments for a diabetic foot is essential to keeping your feet healthy and avoiding amputation, self-care is essential too.

In between check-ups, the doctors at Neuropathy Treatment Clinics of Texas, located in North Dallas and Addison, Texas, recommend five helpful tips for diabetic foot self-care:

1. Wear shoes and socks all day, even indoors.

Because your diabetic foot may be numb to pain or discomfort, you must take extra care to protect it from injury. You need to wear shoes and socks, even when you’re in the house. Otherwise, you could stub your toe, step on broken glass, or otherwise injure your foot without noticing.

Don’t skip the socks, either. Lightly padded, seamless socks reduce the amount of friction between your foot and your shoe. Too much friction could cause the soles of your feet to thicken and develop calluses that further deaden sensation.

Though it may seem unintuitive, you should wear breathable shoes and socks on warm summer days and at the beach or pool, too. In addition to protecting your feet from foreign objects, shoes protect your soles from hot sand or pavement that could burn your feet without your noticing.

If you swim or go to the gym, wear closed-toe swimming or bathing shoes. These types of shoes also protect you from an athlete’s foot infection. Each time before you put on your shoes or socks, check them for pebbles, burs, or other foreign objects that could irritate or injure your foot.

2. Check your feet every night.

Before you get into bed at night, remove your shoes and socks, and then take some time to inspect your feet. Be sure to look between your toes, too. Using a mirror, if necessary, check for:

Protect any damaged areas with an adhesive bandage, and then change the bandage each night, checking to see if you’re healing or not.  Contact your doctor if you have a cut that doesn’t heal, an ingrown toenail that becomes red or inflamed, or another condition that doesn’t resolve within a day or two. You can also use your hands to check for “hot” spots that could develop into a blister or ulcer, and then apply an adhesive bandage to minimize friction.

3. Wash your feet every day.

When you shower or bathe, be sure to carefully wash your feet and toes, too. Only use warm water, that’s no hotter than 95 degrees Fahrenheit. After cleaning your feet, pat them dry with a soft towel.

The skin between your toes tends to stay moist, raising your risk for an infection, such as athlete’s foot. Apply some cornstarch or unscented foot powder between your toes to keep them dry and healthy.

4. Give yourself a pedicure.

Taking care of your feet means keeping the skin soft, free from calluses and corns, and trimming your toenails regularly. If you have corns or calluses, you may be able to gently smooth them with a pumice stone, rubbing with a light touch in one direction only. Don’t use over-the-counter corn-removal products or try to cut or shave off corns or calluses yourself.

Trim your toenails using a clipper that features a straight, not curved edge, and is designed for the toenails only. Cut your nails straight across, then smooth out rough edges with an emery board.

Moisturize the skin on your soles and the tops of your feet and toes by gently massaging in a small amount of petroleum jelly, lotion, or cream. But don’t moisturize between your toes (that’s where the powder goes).

5. Keep blood flowing to your feet.

You know how important exercise and regular activity are for controlling your blood sugar levels. When you have a diabetic foot, keep the blood flowing to your legs and feet helps to keep them healthy. Try yoga, tai chi, walking, or another activity you enjoy, every day.

In between exercise, stimulate blood flow by wiggling your toes. You can also improve blood flow by elevating your feet when sitting.

If you have a diabetic foot, getting a regular checkup at Neuropathy Treatment Clinics of Texas helps keep you pain-free and safe. We even offer the neoGEN-SeriesⓇ, which can alter pain signaling and even re-grow healthy nerve tissue.

Call us today to schedule a diabetic foot consultation, or use our handy online appointment form.

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