Diabetic Foot Care Guidelines: 15 Expert Tips to Keep Your Feet Healthy

Apr 03, 2024
Diabetic Foot Care Guidelines: 15 Expert Tips to Keep Your Feet Healthy
Diabetes is a life-long disease that can lead to foot ulcers, infections, and even amputations. Fortunately, despite being incurable, diabetes is manageable. With the right providers on your side, you won’t have to worry about complications.

The statistics related to foot complications in diabetics are scary. Anywhere between 15-20% of diabetics develop a foot ulcer in their lifetime. And around 15% of diabetics diagnosed with a foot ulcer will need an amputation. 

However, this doesn’t have to be you. Diabetes might be a lifelong disease, but it’s also a highly manageable disease, and with the right experts on your side, you can live worry-free. Our experts at Ledesma Foot and Ankle share 15 ways you can keep your feet healthy with diabetes

1. See a podiatrist on a regular basis 

Diabetics can get foot ulcers and suffer from infections even after a small cut that wouldn’t otherwise harm a non-diabetic due to impaired blood flow to the feet. 

A podiatrist can check the blood flow in your feet, letting you know the state of your peripheral circulation. 

2. Inspect your feet on a daily basis 

Diabetics often suffer from numbness (neuropathy) in their feet, meaning that if you get a small cut, you probably won’t feel much. However, even a small cut left unattended may raise your risk of a serious infection. 

To prevent this, inspect your feet on a daily basis. If you do see any damage to your feet, schedule an appointment with a podiatrist to find out what to do next.

3. Wear comfortable shoes 

Avoid getting blisters on your feet as much as you can, as these can become problematic, too. Narrow and pointy shoes are a no-no for diabetics. 

4. Get custom-made shoes 

If you do have deformities or wider feet that need more space, yet you wear tight shoes on a regular basis, you may end up with bleeding blisters, which can easily get infected. If that’s the case, you may need to get your shoes custom-made. 

5. Avoid going barefoot 

Going barefoot may feel comfortable, but for diabetics, it could be dangerous. It exposes you to the risk of stepping on a sharp object that may cause a cut. 

6. Get foot massages 

Foot massages can stimulate blood flow and may even bring some relief to diabetics who experience pain as a consequence of nerve damage.

7. Don’t trim your nails too short

Trimming your nails too short can lead to ingrown nails, which can raise your risk of a foot ulcer. 

8. Buy high-quality socks

High-quality socks refer to socks made from materials that wick away moisture and aren’t too constricting. They should also have no seams and fit comfortably on your feet. Some of these socks even have padding to protect your heel area. 

9. Go for white socks 

White socks can easily reveal whether there’s any bleeding or other bodily fluids that may emerge from blisters and open wounds. 

10. Keep your feet dry 

Wet environments make it easy for bacteria to thrive. To discourage any potential bacteria on your feet from causing you harm, ensure your feet are dry most of the time. 

11. Wash your feet with lukewarm water

If you suffer from numbness in your feet, it’s best to check the temperature of the water with a thermometer. If the damage to your peripheral nerves is extensive, you may not be able to tell just how hot the water is, even when it’s hot enough to cause burns. 

12. Quit smoking cigarettes 

Smoking cigarettes narrows the blood vessels, worsening blood flow all over your body, including to your feet. 

13. Drink less caffeine 

Unfortunately, caffeine, much like nicotine, can act like a vasoconstrictor. Not everyone is as sensitive to caffeine, but if you drink lots of it, it’s probably not doing you any favors. 

14. Talk to your doctor about your diet

There’s no secret that carbohydrates have the biggest impact on your blood sugar numbers. If you want to get better control over your diabetes and prevent foot problems, a close examination of your diet is the best place to start. 

15. Stay active 

Physical activity has immediate positive effects on your blood flow, especially cardio exercises. Staying active may also improve your ability to manage your blood sugar levels. Even something as light as walking or riding a bicycle is enough to get your blood pumping. 

Get ahead of your foot problems 

You don’t have to be a part of the scary statistics. With a proper care routine and regular check-ups, your feet will be safe from infections and ulcers. Contact us to schedule an appointment in Scottsdale, Arizona, to get expert care for your feet.