Diabetic Foot Care
According to the American Diabetes Association, in 2012, 29.1 million Americans, or 9.3% of the population, had diabetes. Foot complications from diabetes can include neuropathy, skin changes, calluses, foot ulcers, poor circulation and amputations. If you are a diabetic, your feet should be inspected by a health care professional at least once a year or more if you have any complications or risk factors.
The American Podiatric Medical Association suggest that you follow these foot care tips:
- Inspect feet daily. Check your feet and toes every day for cuts, bruises, sores, or changes to the toenails, such as thickening or discoloration.
- Wear thick, soft socks. Avoid socks with seams, which could rub and cause blisters or other skin injuries.
- Exercise. Walking can keep weight down and improve circulation. Be sure to wear appropriate athletic shoes when exercising.
- Have new shoes properly measured and fitted. Foot size and shape may change over time. Shoes that fit properly are important to those with diabetes.
- Don't go barefoot. Don't go without shoes, even in your own home. The risk of cuts and infection is too great for those with diabetes.
- Never try to remove calluses, corns, or warts by yourself. Over-the-counter products can burn the skin and cause irreparable damage to the foot for people with diabetes.
- Regular checkups by a podiatrist—at least annually—are the best way to ensure that your feet remain healthy.