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Diabetes and Your Feet

Nerve damage, circulation problems, and infections can cause serious foot problems for people with diabetes. Sometimes nerve damage can deform or misshape your feet, causing pressure points that can turn into blisters, sores, or ulcers. Poor circulation can make these injuries slow to heal. Sometimes this can lead to amputation of a toe, foot, or leg.

Tips to Take Care Of Your Feet
There are several ways for people with diabetes to help prevent foot problems triggered by the disease. Here are some tips on how to take care of your feet and prevent foot issues associated with diabetes:

> Look for cuts, cracks, sores, red spots, swelling, infected toenails, splinters, blisters, and calluses on the feet each day. Call your doctor if such wounds do not heal after one day.

> If you have corns and calluses, ask your doctor or podiatrist about the best way to care for them.

> Wash your feet in warm—not hot—water and dry them well.

> Cut your toenails once a week or when needed. Cut toenails when they are soft from washing. Cut them to the shape of the toe and not too short. File the edges with an emery board.

> Rub lotion on the tops and bottoms of feet—but not between the toes—to prevent cracking and drying.

> Wear shoes that fit well. Break in new shoes slowly, by wearing them 1 to 2 hours each day for the first 1 to 2 weeks.

> Wear stockings or socks to avoid blisters and sores.

> Wear clean, lightly padded socks that fit well; seamless socks are best.

> Always wear shoes or slippers, because when you are barefoot it is easy to step on something and hurt your feet.

> Protect your feet from extreme heat and cold.

> When sitting, keep the blood flowing to your lower limbs by propping your feet up and moving your toes and ankles for a few minutes at a time.

> Avoid smoking, which reduces blood flow to the feet.

> Keep your blood sugar, blood pressure, and cholesterol under control by eating healthy foods, staying active, and taking your diabetes medicines.


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