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Taking care of your feet

Taking care of your feet

Tips for foot care

High blood sugars may cause nerve damage which can cause you to lose feeling in your feet. This makes you prone to getting foot injuries and infections. These wounds may not heal well and could result in foot ulcers that can lead to amputation if left untreated.

This is why it is important to follow these tips to keep your feet healthy:

  1. Check your feet daily.
    • To help you remember, try to do it at a regular time each day like when you take your shoes off in the evening. Check the bottom of your feet (sole), the nails and in between your toes.
    • Look for cuts or blisters, red spots, swelling and infected toenails.
  2. Wash your feet every day.
    • Use gentle soap and lukewarm water.
    • Wash your feet in less than five minutes, not soaking them, to prevent your skin from getting dry.
    • Dry your feet with a soft towel, especially between the toes.
    • After bathing or washing them, apply a moisturizing cream but not between your toes where moisture can cause germs to grow.
  3. Look after your toenails.
    • If your toenails need trimming, do it after you wash and dry your feet, when they are softer and safer to cut.
    • Smooth the corners with an emery board or file to prevent your nails from growing into the skin.
    • See your doctor for help if you cannot see, reach or feel your feet, or if your toenails are thick and are growing into the skin.
  4. In the case of wounds, blisters, irritations, cracks or corns, never “operate” on these areas on your own by using razor blades, corn plasters or callus removers.
    • Use mild disinfectant, followed by a sterile dressing.
    • Ask your doctor for help, including referring you to a foot doctor.
  5. Protect your feet from hot and cold.
    • Refrain from applying cold or hot packs directly on your feet. Since your feet are less sensitive, you may get cuts or blister without noticing.
  6. Wear comfortable shoes and socks at all times.
    • Never go barefoot – even indoors.
    • New shoes should be comfortable at the time you buy them – try buying shoes in the late afternoon or evening when feet are expanded and buy the best fit.
    • Slowly wear new shoes in by wearing them 1 to 2 hours a day.
    • Choose cotton or wool socks that help to keep your feet dry.
    • Check inside your shoes before you put them on. Make sure the lining is smooth and that there are no objects in them that can cause injury or irritation.
    • Wear supportive, protective shoes - avoid sandals, shoes with open heels or toes or worn out shoes

Stop smoking –tobacco use reduces the blood flow to the feet, which may lead to foot problems.

NACO/GEN/0417/0255