Our Poor Feet.
In yesterday’s post, I mentioned that you should be checking your feet daily. So many people, diabetic and non, fail to do this. We pause to hop into the shower or bath, scrub, but never really give our feet a good once over.
This is not a good thing! Our feet are essentially the workhorses of our bodies. If our heart and brain are the organs pulling tough duty, then our feet are the appendages getting double work. Each day our feet are pounded against the ground, often in ill-fitting shoes. Toes crushed together, shoe parts poking into the skin, and laces drawn too tightly.
Is it any wonder that foot problems affect everyone?
Get to Know Lefty and Righty
Each day, take the time to get to know your feet. Before and after bathing, inspect your feet carefully from the ankles, to the toes, and the soles. Before bathing, look for areas that may be cracks or wounds with soil in them. By knowing where and injury is, you can clean it thoroughly. After bathing, check the same areas and make sure you did not miss any other possible injuries.
Look for nail problems, blisters, swelling, and raw areas. If you are diabetic, do not use hot water to wash your feet. I know this can be hard to stick to, so when you bathe, use a gentle hand in scrubbing. If you are a caregiver to a diabetic who is unable to bathe themselves, use water that is slightly warmer then room tempatures to wash their feet. Never rub the skin to dry, only blot. Use a soft material like micro-fiber or cotton for drying between the toes.
Care of DaFeet
Cut and file your nails with care. Cut straight across and file the sharp corners. If you are unable to cut your nails or are worried you may do it incorrectly, see a podiatrist. While you are cutting your nails, please do not cut on anything else! Your podiatrist should be the only one to remove corns or calluses. Wounds caused by cutting these types of skin build-ups can cause infection, leading to possible toe or limb loss.
Wear socks that are clean and dry. White socks with loosely woven ankle areas are best for diabetics. This reduces the risk of cutting off circulation. You can find these socks at flea markets of all places! Recently I was able to purchase 6 pair of diabetics socks for only $2 USD by finding them on accident at a flea market. Happy accident! Wear them to bed if your feet are always cold. Try to always keep your feet warm and dry in the winter. If you have nerve damage, you may need to touch them with your hands to know their condition. Do this during the day, often in cold weather.
Furthermore, always wear shoes. Walking barefoot can cause small wounds you do not feel which can become infected. Avoid smoking, as this lowers circulation. Massage will help circulation, if done correctly, but smoking can reduce this benefit.
Just remember, take care of your feet so they can carry you ever on towards good health.