Updated: Jun 18, 2021
If you have diabetes you need to be careful with your feet. That may not be the first thing that comes to mind in managing diabetes, but it’s important.
A common complication of diabetes is nerve damage. Nerve damage can reduce sensations in your feet. That leaves you vulnerable to overlooking injuries or other changes. Even a small blister, unnoticed, can become a major issue.
Diabetes can also reduce blood flow to your feet, making it harder for them to heal from anything from a scratch to a fungus. Dry skin is also a common problem for people with diabetes.
Keeping your feet moisturized can help head off problems before they begin.
Checking your feet for any changes should be part of your daily routine. Look for any changes during your inspection. Slow healing of a scrape or minor injury can lead to these deep sores. Nerve damage can keep you from feeling them.
Common issues include cracking and peeling from dry skin, blistering, sore spots from poorly fitting shoes, and scrapes from foreign objects.
If you check your feet every day you don’t give minor problems time to become major issues. An ideal time to give your feet a good once-over is when you wash them.
If you have diabetes you should carefully wash your feet every day in warm, but not hot, water and mild soap. Don’t let them soak, since this can further dry the skin. Gently dry your feet completely.
This is an excellent time to do a daily inspection.
The next step in your daily foot care should be moisturizing. Apply cream or petroleum jelly to every part of your feet, except between your toes. The area between your toes should be carefully dried after washing and left without moisturizer to avoid infection.
Daily moisturizing can minimize the cracking and peeling that can result from having diabetes. Peeling and cracks can lead to infection or diabetic ulcers. By applying moisturizer to your feet daily you can prevent complications caused by dry skin.
Check with your doctor to see what moisturizers they suggest for your diabetic feet. They may have specific recommendations based on the severity of any other foot issues you’re experiencing, the condition of the skin on your feet, or other factors.
Routine daily care is vital to managing all aspects of diabetes. Carefully moisturizing your feet can prevent serious sores, infections, and other issues. It’s a simple, quick daily task that can keep your feet happy and healthy.