The feet of diabetics tend to nerve damage and circulatory disorders especially after a long period of illness. The skin is usually extremely sensitive and dry. Pressure points in the shoe or injuries to the feet are not felt in time, because the pain sensation is missing. If an infection spreads, it can easily cause weeping ulcers that are difficult to cure. Therefore, pay special attention to a professional foot care, proper control of the feet and the right footwear. With the following tips we have brought the most important thing for those affected to the point.
Daily inspection of feet and soles
Check your feet every day for changes such as bruises, burns, redness, swelling, injuries, ingrown toenails, athlete's foot or inflammation (from above: instep and heel, from below: sole, from front: toe gaps).
The examination of the soles of the feet is important because calluses can develop very quickly here. If you can not see the soles of your feet, you should use a mirror. If vision is not sufficient for these examinations, relatives or caregivers should be consulted. With all changes on the feet go to the doctor.
Care of the diabetic foot
The skin of the diabetic is usually very dry and brittle. The cause is the disturbed sweat secretion. Here only the consistent skin care helps. Wash your feet daily with a mild, moisturizing soap. The water temperature must not exceed 37 degrees. Use a thermometer as a control, as too hot water can lead to scalds that may not be noticed (neuropathy). If you bathe your feet, the bath should take no more than three minutes. Longer foot baths soften the skin, it forms a good breeding ground for germs and bacteria.
After washing, thoroughly dry your feet with a soft towel, especially between your toes, as wet toe marks can easily form athlete's foot. If itching between the toes, a diabetic should consult a doctor, as it is often a fungal infection, which must be treated.
Especially the space between the toes is particularly vulnerable to such infections. After bathing you should scrub the still moist cornea carefully with a pumice stone. This is necessary because the cornea is easily cracked and so bacteria or germs can penetrate. Cornea planes have no place at the foot of a diabetic. Likewise, under no circumstances may corneas or tinctures be used, as they have a corrosive effect and damage the skin.
Problem dry skin
Dry, brittle or cracked skin should be rubbed after washing with a greasy cream. The toe gaps should not be creamed! In addition, diabetics should wear every day fresh socks and pay attention to a good fit of the socks.
If the sensation of pain or heat is limited, it is better not to use a hot water bottle or blanket. You could possibly burn your feet. In case of injuries to the feet you should go to the doctor immediately. But also in the context of control appointments you should have your feet examined by the attending physician.
The care of the feet also includes the care of the toenails. For diabetics, here are some special features:
- Do not cut the nails with sharp or sharp tools (eg scissors, nail clippers or pointed nail files). Well suited are a sandpaper file or a rounded diamond file.
- File the nails at the corners straight and not round. Only immediately in the corners should they be slightly rounded.
- Only have ingrown toenails or corns removed by a specialist (podiatrist / doctor).
Shoes and stockings
Shoes should always be bought in the afternoon, as feet swell during the day due to standing. The early afternoon is therefore the best time to buy shoes. When buying shoes, look for soft outer material without irritating seams and a not too thin, well padded sole.
Lace-ups are best for the diabetic because they optimally surround the foot. New shoes have to be worn in for a longer period of time. During this time, the daily foot inspection is especially important. If you suffer from neuropathy, you should - before putting your shoes on - manually scour the inside for foreign bodies or scouring sutures.
Stockings should not be made of synthetic materials, but wool or cotton. They should be without seams, as any unevenness can lead to injuries. For diabetics, it is particularly important to change the stockings daily.
What else is important ...
In addition to the care of the feet, there are some other tips for diabetics, with which they can prevent injuries or permanent damage to the diabetic foot:
- If you have problems with your feet, you should not walk barefoot.
- Reducing your weight also relieves your feet.
- Targeted foot exercises will do your feet well.
- Keep your legs up every now and then.
- If you give up smoking, your feet will be happy too.
Nevertheless, a regular foot care for diabetics remains a "must". Only then can the diabetic foot syndrome be recognized and treated in good time!