Diabetes Mellitus (DM) is a condition characterized by high levels of blood glucose that causes damage to the blood vessels, eyes, kidneys, and nerves since it decreases the ability of the body to fight infection. This happens if the condition is not managed or controlled properly. One of the common complications of diabetes is foot problem that can immediately become serious if not given the proper care.
A person with diabetes may experience some damage in the nervous system. Because of this, he/she might not be able to feel his/her feet properly. Not only that, the normal oil and sweat secretion are also impaired and this can result in excessive pressure on the skin, joints, and bones of the feet during walking. Sore may develop that can eventually lead to the skin's breakdown.
Moreover, the damage to the blood vessels and the immune system hinder the normal healing of wounds. If there is any bacterial infection on the skin, this can develop into gangrene. Making it worse is the fact that antibiotics cannot easily get to the infection site to treat the infection. In many cases, the only remaining recourse is to amputate the foot or the leg before the infection spreads to the bloodstream and threaten the life of the diabetic patient.
To avoid such scenario, it's imperative to give proper care to a diabetic foot. Here are the measures that people with diabetes should follow.
Check Your Feet Everyday
See if there are any cuts, blisters, swelling, abrasions, or even minor nail problems. Don't content yourself at simply glancing at your foot. Examine it carefully using a magnifying hand mirror. Even the slightest cut should have you calling your doctor right away.
Keep Your Feet Clean
Wash your feet in lukewarm water. Avoid soaking them in hot water. Wash them daily but be gentle at all times. Use a soft sponge or washcloth then dry by patting or blotting. Don't forget to dry the areas between the toes.
Moisturize Your Feet
Apply moisturizer on your feet daily to prevent dry skin from itching or cracking. But never put any moisturizer in the areas between the toes as this could promote growth of fungi and lead to fungal infection.
Cut Your Nails Carefully
When cutting your nails, be sure to cut them straight across, not round. Don't cut them too short either as this can develop into ingrown toe nails. Don't treat corns or calluses yourself.
If you have any corns or calluses on your feet, inform your doctor immediately. Don't use medicated pads or home remedies for these problems.
Wear Clean Dry Socks
Aside from this, you should also wear the right type. Don't use those that have tight elastic bands as these can cut or reduce circulation. Avoid wearing thick and bulky socks as well. Socks that fit poorly can also irritate the skin. If you feel cold at night, wear socks when you go to sleep. Don't use heating pad or hot water bottle to warm you up.
Smoking leads to poor blood circulation in your feet. Kick the nicotine habit for good.
Never Wear Barefoot
Even when you're at home, always wear a pair of shoes or slippers to avoid the possibility on stepping on something that can cause a scratch or cut on your foot.
Keep Your Blood Sugar at Proper Levels
Ensure that you're able to take good care of your diabetes. Your blood sugar levels should be under control at all times.