Why Diabetic foot care is important?
I have heard many diabetic people told that they have removed a finger from their feet. There will be a blood circulation issue and nerve injury if diabetic levels are out of control. Your foot would experience issues as a result. Peripheral neuropathy, which causes loss of foot sensation, is common among diabetics.
We can’t imagine losing any body part. Isn’t? Keeping your blood sugar levels in check and taking care of our body is therefore essential.
Okay, how can we prevent harm to our feet before it happens?
Why diabetes is affecting the foot?
Two problems mainly affect diabetic patients’ feet.
1. Peripheral Vascular disease
Diabetics are frequently impacted by this illness. Blood vessel narrowing is the cause of it. As a result, the blood supply to the arms, legs, brain, and other areas of the body is disrupted. It mostly affects the legs and feet.
Leg discomfort, numbness, or cramps may be the only symptoms at first. When it progresses, patients can have pain while at rest. You could get foot wounds that are infected and cause you to need to have your toes or foot amputated. Even legs may need to be amputated on occasion.
2. Diabetic Neuropathy
Your nerves will be harmed by diabetes if you have it for an extended period. If the nerves in your feet are injured, you will lose the feeling sense and be unable to feel heat, cold, or pain there.
It is known as “sensory diabetic neuropathy” when a person lacks feeling. Due to neuropathy, a cut or sore on your foot could worsen and infect if you are unable to feel it. Your foot’s muscles may not function properly because the nerves that supply them with signals are damaged. There could be an improper alignment of the foot and more pressure on a specific area of the foot.
Why do you need diabetic foot care? What are the associated problems?
Here are some of the problems associated with diabetic foot.
1. Foot ulcers
Foot ulcers are common in people having uncontrolled diabetes. Ulcers develop as skin tissue deteriorates and exposes the layers below.
They can affect your feet down to the bones and are most common under your big toes and on the balls of your feet.
Corn is a tough skin that typically grows between or close to a toe’s bones. It is created as a result of toe-to-toe friction. You can use a pumice stone to remove that tissue. Never cut or pluck with a sharp object. You can provide hot and cold soaks simultaneously.
It is also tough skin that is typically found on the sole. They result from unequal weight distribution, bad footwear, or any skin condition. Put padded insoles and pads in your shoes. Calluses can soften with medication. Avoid attempting to cut or scrape the callus off using a sharp object.
Blisters are formed because of the friction caused by shoes on the same spot of the foot. You should use proper diabetic shoes to avoid this issue. Apply antibacterial cream to prevent infections.
5. Fungal infections
Fungal infections may discolor your nails. They may become yellow or brown. It may appear thick & brittle. Do not expose your feet to wetness for long period. It may trigger fungal growth. You should follow the doctor’s advice and take medicines. In some cases, you need to remove the damaged nail.
6. Dry & cracked foot skin
You may have cracked skin on your feet as a result of the excessive dryness. The bacteria might make it their home and may cause athlete’s foot(fungus causing cracks, redness, and itching). Keep your foot wet by applying the appropriate moisturizer. Apply moisturizer outside the toe gaps.
A bunion, a painful bony bulge on the outside of the big toe, can be brought on by pressure from the way you walk or the form of your foot. Long durations of standing and wearing narrow shoes might exacerbate bunion pain. You might require surgery if bunion pads, toe spacers, and better-fitting shoes are ineffective.
8. Ingrown toenails
Ingrown toenails are a frequent problem where the toenail’s corner or side grows into tender flesh. Pain, swollen, irritated skin, and occasionally an infection are the consequences. Usually, the big toe is impacted by ingrown toenails. You run a higher chance of developing ingrown toenail issues if you have diabetes or another illness that reduces blood flow to your feet.
People with diabetes are more prone to have a foot injury and be unaware of it until an infection has set in due to issues with blood flow and nerves.
Amputation is frequently the best course of action when an infection cannot be cured, results in an infection, or when poor blood flow causes gangrene(bodily tissue death brought on by a significant bacterial infection or a lack of blood supply).
Diabetic foot care tips to avoid amputation
1. Manage your blood sugar levels
People who have already undergone one amputation are more likely to experience another. You can reduce the risk of developing further diabetes complications by eating well, exercising frequently, managing your blood sugar, and giving up tobacco. Without sugar control, you cannot escape from branched complications.
2. Consult your doctor for a foot checkup
For diabetic individuals, routine blood tests are commonplace. Ask your doctor to check your feet while you show him the reports. Use this routine to stop any serious issues from developing in the event of high blood sugar.
3. Check your feet every day
Check your feet every day when taking a bath to see if you have any cuts, edema, or nail issues. Patients with high blood sugar levels won’t feel the discomfort from cuts and blisters since they will lose their ability to feel their feet. Therefore, you must regularly check your feet. Consult your doctor if there is a problem and take his instructions.
4. Wash your feet with warm water
Always keep your feet clean. After coming home from the outdoors, wash your feet with warm water. As your feet cannot sense too much heat, check for water temperature before washing your feet.
5. Use mild soap and sponge
wash your legs using mild soap or shampoo using a soft sponge. Daily foot care will result in softer, smoother, and problem-free skin. If not, you risk developing corns, warts, calluses, swollen feet, and aching, and burning feet, among other foot problems.
6. Pat your feet properly
Dry your feet with a clean, dry towel after washing. Drying the spaces in between your toes can help stave off fungus infections. Give your feet a gently pat rather than rubbing to prevent irritations.
7. Proper care for nails
If you need to cut your nails, do it when your nails are wet and smooth. It allows you to cut the nails easily. Do not cut them too short and cut them straight to avoid ingrown toenails. Use an emery board to get nail edges smooth.
8. Use good moisturizer
Most diabetic patients have dry foot issues. It is due to the inability of your body to produce enough moisturizer for your foot because of nerve damage. Use a good moisturizer, lotion, oil, or petroleum jelly to smoother your dry foot. It can help you to get relief from itching, or cracking. But do not apply moisturize the areas between your toes. It may lead to fungal growth.
9. Wear Socks while sleeping
Diabetes patients run the risk of developing circulation issues, which can lead to chilly hands or feet. Frequent blood sugar elevations can induce artery narrowing and a decreased blood supply to the tissues, which can result in cold feet.
So wear dry, clean, diabetic socks while sleeping to avoid your feet getting cold at night.
10. Choose proper diabetic socks
Try to use diabetic socks rather than regular socks.
Why wear diabetic socks?
It helps to cushion your feet by reducing friction and thus preventing blisters and ulcers.
Gives little compression which aids in good blood circulation.
The material is breathable and lightweight.
It does not squeeze the feet.
Designed to suit diabetic people
11. Do not pluck the corns by yourself
Diabetes patients are more likely to develop corns and calluses if they neglect their feet. Avoid making the error of picking them by yourself. Rough handling could result in serious issues because diabetics’ wounds don’t heal in a matter of days. Always seek medical advice and follow recommended procedures.
12. Never walk without shoes or slippers