The Do’s and Don’ts of Diabetic Foot Care
Did you know there are specific recommendations for diabetic foot care? Learn about these recommendations and how home health for diabetic foot care helps minimize problems.
Uncontrolled blood sugars have several consequences. Two of the most common complications are poor blood flow and decreased nerve function (neuropathy). These are particularly problematic in the feet of diabetic patients.
The lack of feeling in their feet often causes diabetic patients to not notice minor foot injuries when they occur. Coupled with the lack of blood flow, these minor injuries lead to more serious complications. The most common foot problems seen in diabetic patients include dry, cracked skin, fungal infections, corns and calluses, ingrown toenails, and wounds, including ulcers. If not taken care of in a timely manner, these complications can lead to amputation and even death.
The most important thing a diabetic patient can do to prevent these complications is to maintain healthy blood sugar levels. See our post about diabetic management to learn more about how to maintain healthy blood sugar levels.
Aside from this, a diabetics normal day to day routine needs to include routine foot inspections and special do’s and don’ts to avoid more serious foot injuries. These recommendations include the following:
The Do’s of Diabetic Foot Care:
- Moisturize daily, except for in between the toes, after washing and patting dry.
- Inspect feet daily from top to bottom. Use a mirror if needed, looking for cuts, blisters, redness, swelling and nail problems.
- Visit your podiatrist regularly.
- Stretch and wiggle your toes for at least 5 minutes twice daily to maintain blood flow.
- Always check the inside of shoes for foreign objects.
- Cut nails straight across, after bathing when they are the softest, then smooth the edges with a nail file. Use a pumice stone for removal of dead skin.
- Always wear shoes, avoiding too loose- or tight-fitting shoes, high heel or pointed toe shoes. Have a second pair or hard soled slippers for inside the house. Replace shoes if red spots or calluses start to appear.
- Change socks often, at least daily.
- Always test water with hands before putting feet in.
- Stop smoking, if applicable
The Don’ts of Diabetic Foot Care:
- Don’t try and remove corns, calluses, or cuticles yourself.
- Avoid the use of heating pads, hot water bottles or electric blankets. Use socks instead!
- Avoid getting your feet wet in snow or rain.
- Don’t soak your feet for a prolonged time. This will dry them out.
- Don’t rub your feet dry or put moisturizing cream in between the toes. This will increase the risk of infection.
- Don’t walk around barefoot.
Diabetic Foot Care with Active Home Health
Where does Active Home Health fit into the picture? Our nursing staff can provide help with existing wounds and wound care. They can ensure that your medications are working correctly and keeping your blood sugars at a healthy level. They provide education and training on proper washing techniques, proper shoes and socks and other foot care techniques.
Our CNAs can help you complete your normal, day-to-day activities that might be impaired during the healing process. They also provide foot care reminders throughout their visit.
Finally, our team of physical and occupational therapists will develop a plan to help with a variety of things. They will help you with strength, balance, and stretching exercises. Active therapists can help you with different adaptive equipment to allow better self-care of your feet. They can provide a home safety evaluation and recommend possible modifications to prevent foot injuries.
Some of the benefits of using Active Home Health training include:
- Better at-home prevention of foot injuries
- Improved wound care
- Decreased hospitalizations
- Education about disease process
- Gait Training and improved mobility
Why Choose Active Home Health?
Being diagnosed with diabetes is life changing. In addition to new medications, a newly diagnosed diabetic patient must make a variety of lifestyle changes. This can be overwhelming, but Active Home Health is here to help you. Our team can provide you with the do’s and don’ts of diabetic foot care. Give us a call today to see how!