Look Down: 3 Ways To Protect Your Feet When You Have Diabetes

If you have diabetes, you know that you need to watch your blood sugar and see your doctor on a regular basis. However, if you're new to diabetes, you might not realize that you also have to pay close attention to your feet. When you have diabetes, your feet are susceptible to infections that can lead to amputation.

Statistics show that in 2010, over 70,000 diabetics over the age of 20 required amputations of their lower limbs. With proper foot care, you can reduce the risk of amputation. Here are just a few things you can do to keep your feet healthy.

Keep Your Feet Clean

If you have diabetes, the most important thing you can do for your feet is keep them clean. Even if you don't shower every day, you should still wash your feet. Fill a plastic basin with warm water and sit down in front of it. Place your feet in the water and allow them to soak for a few minutes.

Use a gentle soap to thoroughly cleanse your feet. Be sure to get between the toes where harmful bacteria can grow. Dry your feet carefully, paying close attention to the spaces between your toes. Apply moisturizer to your feet to prevent dry skin.

Be Gentle With the Toenail Trimmers

Diabetes makes it difficult for your body to fight infections. Even a small cut can spell trouble for your feet. When using toenail trimmers, try to avoid cutting the nails too short. If you do happen to cut yourself, pour a small amount of peroxide on the wound and apply a thin layer of antibiotic ointment. Watch for signs of infection, such as redness, swelling or oozing. If you notice any of those signs, see your doctor immediately.

Wear the Right Socks

Your feet need to breathe during the day. That can be difficult when you're wearing tight socks. To keep your feet healthy, choose lightweight cotton socks that aren't too tight around your legs. If you notice indentations on your legs when you remove your socks, you should switch to a different type of socks. Tight socks can cut the circulation off to your feet. Talk to your doctor about buying diabetic socks for men or women.

When you have diabetes, you need to work hard to keep yourself healthy. You also need to protect your feet. The list provided above will help you take care of your feet. If you develop sores on your feet that don't heal or you have discoloration around your toes or ankles, be sure to see your doctor as soon as possible.