Diabetes is the primary cause of limb amputations. More than 85 percent of those amputations can be prevented by proper foot care.
Here are some simple tips protecting your feet:
Protect your feet by wearing socks and shoes.
Wear socks and shoes - even while indoors.
Socks should not have a tight elastic band. This can cut off circulation to the feet.
Shoes should provide protection to the whole foot and leave enough room for the toes.
Some insurances may pay for custom fit orthopedic shoes. Ask your doctor if this is an option for you.
Get a foot exam at every doctor visit. Be sure to take your socks and shoes off before the doctor comes into the room.
Practice proper foot care.
Keep feet clean and dry.
Trim toe nails carefully and straight across. Do not try to cut the corners because this could injure the foot. If you need help, ask a friend, family member or your primary care provider.
Do not cut corns or calluses. Avoid over-the-counter acid products as well.
Protect your feet from from getting too hot or too cold.
Check your feet daily, including the bottoms and between toes. Use a hand mirror to assist.
To prevent dry, cracked feet, apply lotion to the tops and bottoms. Avoid lotion between the toes. It can cause skin breakdown and is a good environment for bacteria to grow.
Call your doctor if you notice sores or cuts on the foot, especially if they don’t show signs of healing after a day or two.
If you have issues with your feet, you may need to see a podiatrist, which is a doctor that specializes in disorders of the foot, ankle and lower extremity. They can help in the treatment and care of the feet of people with diabetes.