Diabetic Hygiene

If you are a diabetic, you know foot care is an essential part of your everyday concerns…. practice the following to protect your feet.

1. Examine Your Feet Daily

*Use your eyes and hands, or have a family member help

*Check between your toes

*Use a mirror to observe the bottom of your feet

*Look for these Danger Signs:

         Swelling (especially new, increased or involving one foot)
         Redness (may be a sign of a pressure sore or infection)
         Blisters (may be a sign of rubbing or pressure sore)
         Cuts or Scratches or Bleeding (may become infected)
         Nail Problems (may rub on skin, cause ulceration or become infected)
         Maceration, Drainage (between toes)

If you observe any of these danger signs, call your podiatrist at once.

2. Examine Your Shoes Daily

*Check the insides of your shoes, using your hands, for:

         Irregularities (rough areas, seams)
         Foreign Objects (stones, tacks)

3. Daily Washing and Foot Care

*Wash your feet daily

*Avoid water that is too hot or too cold. Use lukewarm water

*Avoid heating pads to warm their feet.  This can result in accidental burns to the skin

*Dry off the feet after washing, especially between the toes

*If your skin is dry, apply Allpresan once – twice a day

*Use lambs wool (Not cotton) between the toes to keep these areas dry

* Do not walk barefoot – sharp objects or rough surfaces can cause cuts, blisters, and other injuries

4. Fitting Shoes and Socks

*Make sure that the shoes and socks are not too tight

*The toe box of the shoe should have extra room and be made of a soft upper material that can “breath”

*New shoes should be removed after 5-10 minutes to check for redness, which could be a sign of too much pressure: if there is redness, do not wear the shoe. If there is no redness, check again after each half hour during the first day of use

*Rotate your shoes

*Ask your podiatrist about therapeutic (prescription) footwear, which may be a covered by your insurance plans

*Tell your shoe salesman that you have diabetes

5. Medical Care

*See your podiatrist on a regular basis

*Ask your primary care doctor to check your feet on every visit

*Call your doctor if you observe any of the above danger signs