In some cases, amputation is preventable. If you have diabetes or you are easily prone to infection, proper foot care can make all the difference. Check out these tips on caring for your feet.
Inspect your feet every day, and seek care early if you do get a foot injury. Make sure your health care provider checks your feet at least once a year – more often if you have foot problems.
Keep the skin on your feet clean and healthy. Wash your feet every day. Dry them carefully, especially between the toes. Rub a thin coat of skin lotion over the tops and bottoms of your feet, but not between your toes. The extra moisture there can encourage fungus to grow. Trim your nails straight across and file the edges with a nail file.
Call or visit your health care provider if you have cuts or breaks in the skin, or have an ingrown nail. Tell your health care provider if your foot changes color, shape, or just feels different (for example, becomes less sensitive or hurts).
Wear shoes and socks at all times. Never walk barefoot. Wear broad, flat shoes that fit well and protect your feet. Before putting your shoes on, make sure the lining is smooth and there are no objects inside.
It is crucial to maintain healthy blood flow in your feet. Promote blood flow by maintaining an active lifestyle and exercising regularly. Avoid sitting down for extended periods of time.
Protect your feet from hot and cold. Wear shoes outside and avoid putting your feet into hot water. Never use hot water bottles, heating pads, or electric blankets. You can burn your feet without realizing it.
Diabetes can often cause serious foot problems. Take care of your diabetes. Work with your health care team to keep your blood glucose in your target range. People with high glucose levels tend to have dry skin and less ability to fend off harmful bacteria. Both conditions increase the risk of infection.
We hope these tips encourage you to begin taking good care of your feet today. Get started now, and don’t be afraid to ask your support team for help. You can even choose a time every day to check your feet. It will be worth it in the long term.