Dr. An here. Now’s a good chance for us to review some important points regarding foot care tailored to diabetic patients, but may be applicable to any patients, especially those with peripheral neuropathy.
Here are a few guidelines that diabetic or at-risk patients should follow in order to maintain healthy feet and avoid problems:
- Daily foot inspections.
Look for blisters, cuts, red skin irritation, foreign bodies, fissured calluses, etc. If you are unable to see the bottom of your feet use a mirror or ask someone else to evaluate them.
- Wash and dry your feet thoroughly.
Be sure to dry in between your toes because the interspaces can hold moisture and cause skin breakdown. Always test the temperature of the water to avoid burning your skin.
- After showering be sure to keep your feet moisturized.
Avoid applying moisturizer in between your toes. This will prevent cracking/fissuring of your skin and minimize callus build up.
- Do NOT attempt to treat your calluses or corns at home.
If your podiatrist normally trims your toenails, do NOT attempt to trim them by yourself at home.
- Always wear shoes and socks, even while at home.
Diabetic shoes and socks are recommended because they are made of specific materials and designed in such a way to minimize irritation to your feet. Check the insides of your shoes for foreign bodies before putting them on.
If you have any issues it is worth contacting your podiatrist to ask for advice or to see if it is an urgent issue that needs to be addressed in a timely fashion. Remember, it is easier to prevent diabetic related foot issues rather than trying to treat them after the fact. I hope you find this helpful and please be safe during this time and follow all guidelines.
Dr. Stephen An