10 foot care tips for people with diabetes

People with diabetes should pay special attention to their feet. Leg problems and amputations are one of the most common complications of diabetes in our country. At the same time, in countries with a more developed system of support for diabetics, amputations as a result of this disease are much less common. This suggests that it is not diabetes itself, but rather, improper foot care, untimely seeking medical help and, of course, prolonged decompensation, are causing problems.

We have selected the 10 simplest rules, following which you can preserve the health of your feet for as long as possible. But first, a little about why our feet are so vulnerable to diabetes.

Why do diabetics have foot problems ?

We have already written that the main cause of all late complications of diabetes is an increased amount of glucose in the blood. And foot problems are no exception.

It is because of the high SC (blood sugar) that a person with diabetes can develop neuropathy – damage to small blood vessels. It manifests itself as numbness and burning in the legs, pain in the foot, decreased sensitivity.

For the same reason – due to prolonged high SC – angiopathy develops in people with diabetes – damage to the arteries of the legs. In this case, our supply of nutrients and oxygen to muscle and skin tissues is disrupted. As a result, wounds heal slowly. And new ones appear more often, because due to reduced sensitivity, we may simply not notice that the shoes are rubbing or pressing, that a splinter has driven into the leg, etc.

And if we do not notice microtraumas, then we may not immediately begin to treat them. Unfortunately, it is these cases that usually become the beginning of non-healing wounds, to which the infection joins.

The result of this is the need for long-term treatment or amputation. To avoid this, follow the rules that we have collected from the recommendations of the best doctors and the practical experience of people with diabetes.

Foot care rules

1. Every day, carefully examine your legs and especially your feet. If you notice even a small scratch, chafing or other damage, immediately treat them with a disinfectant. And then follow the healing process.

2. Every day, wash your feet in warm (not hot) water, and then dry them thoroughly with a towel, especially the spaces between your toes. Moisture becomes a convenient breeding ground for fungal and other infections.

3. Do not use pumice, chemicals or other aggressive methods to remove calluses and dead skin on the feet – they can injure the feet. For daily care, it is better to use special foot scrubs. If even with their use the problem of keratinized skin does not go away, contact the dia- foot office or a podologist .

4. If you notice dryness of the skin of the legs and especially the feet, be sure to start applying emollient creams every day. Dry skin sooner or later begins to crack, and various microbes and infections enter the cracks. As a result, wounds that do not heal for a long time. Now on the market you can find creams for people with diabetes that strengthen the microbiological barrier and reduce the growth of pathogenic microflora on the legs.

5. Do not use heating pads, electric heaters, batteries or hot baths to warm your feet – there is a very high risk of burns that you may not even notice at first, and after that they will take a long time to heal. If your feet are cold, it is better to put on warm socks, cover yourself with a warm blanket , etc.

6. Check your shoes every time before putting them on. A pebble, a toothpick, another sharp object can get into it, the gasket can tear or the insole can go astray. All this repeatedly caused injuries that people with diabetes noticed after a few days, and which became the trigger for starting many months of treatment after.

7. Buy shoes for yourself that sit comfortably on the foot from the very beginning. Heels – no higher than 4-5 cm. Sandals with a strap that runs between the fingers – never. Do not walk barefoot – neither on the street, nor even at home.

8. If you injured your leg, do not use products that dry and / or stain the skin (iodine, alcohol, potassium permanganate, brilliant green) – due to their bright color, you may not notice redness or necrosis of the skin around the wound. Also, do not use oil-based ointments – under them the wound soaks and does not heal even longer. Abrasions, cuts, etc. treat with hydrogen peroxide (3%), and preferably with special means ( miramistin , chlorhexidine, dioxidine , furacillin ) and be sure to apply a sterile bandage.

9. To maintain blood flow in the legs, stretch your toes and bend your feet for 5 minutes 2-3 times a day. Do exercises to improve blood circulation. If you have a sedentary job, try to walk more, ride a bike – this will strengthen your blood vessels

10. If you notice that the sensitivity of the skin of the legs has decreased, if the wounds do not heal for more than 10 days, the skin of the fingers has darkened, there are pains in the calves when walking and at rest – be sure to consult a doctor as soon as possible!

And always remember that the first and most important rule for the prevention of dangerous complications in diabetes is the constant control of sugars and the desire for healthy person indicators.

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