What Does A Diabetic Foot Look Like?
A healthy diabetic foot should look like any other foot! However, diabetics are at a higher risk for many common foot problems. Diabetics are often warned to be vigilant and keep an eye on their feet, but aren’t given much direction about what to look for.
Diabetics looking to take better care of their feet should start by keeping them clean and checking them at least once a day for anything out of the ordinary. Read on to discover what potential warning signs to look for and how to lower your risk for developing serious diabetic foot issues.
What Are the Risks of Diabetes and My Feet?
Diabetics face many of the same potential feet issues that people without diabetes do. People with diabetes often face a loss of or painful increase in the sensitivity in their feet. This makes it more difficult to feel problems as they arise, leading to potential complications. This is why it’s so important for diabetics to check their feet with regularity!
Potential issues that can arise in diabetic feet include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Athlete’s foot is a common foot infection characterized by itchiness and redness.
- Neuropathy is the term for diabetic nerve damage that causes the ‘pins and needles’ feeling in your feet.
- Bunions are a mass on your big toe joint that makes walking painful.
- Diabetic foot ulcers are deep sores or breaks in the skin sometimes caused by minor cuts and scrapes left unattended.
Ways To Manage Your Risks
Wash your feet regularly. You should keep your feet clean and dry as often as possible. If your feet sweat during a long walk or workout, wash them in warm soapy water and change your socks.
Wear socks to protect your feet. Minor cuts and scrapes can quickly become complicated in the feet of diabetic patients. Keeping your feet in special diabetic socks can help lower your risk for everyday injuries.
Make sure you’re taking care of your overall health. Unchecked diabetes can wreak havoc on your feet and cause serious, permanent issues. Consistently high blood sugar levels can lead to neuropathy, which leads to pain and sensitivity issues in your feet.
Kick your feet back whenever possible. Don’t sit for long periods of time - you want to keep the blood in your legs and feet flowing. Even a small five minute walk can do wonders for the health of your feet.
Pamper your feet! Keep your toenails trimmed and clean. If you have dry skin, apply lotion to keep the skin of your heels and feet from cracking.
How Can Socks Help My Diabetic Feet?
Diabetic socks are designed to help manage the risks faced by diabetics. In addition to being crafted from breathable materials like cotton, diabetic socks are sewn together with as few seams as possible. Diabetic feet need a sock with as few possible irritations as possible.
Socks made for diabetics are meant to fit comfortably but not tightly. A well fitted sock can help protect your feet from everyday hazards. Those who find themselves experiencing sensitivity may find that wearing socks helps manage the sensation.
In short: What should I look for in a diabetic sock?
- A comfortable fit
- Breathable materials
- As few seams as possible
- Light colors (to make checking for wounds easier)
Diabetic Foot Care Is Important
Learning how to take care of your feet is essential for a diabetic. Keeping an eagle eye on your feet for any potential cuts, scrapes, or other issues is key to managing your risks. Catching small issues before they can become complicated is one of the most important things you can do for your feet.