What Is a Diabetic Foot Care Plan?
November is National Diabetes Awareness Month. If you or someone you love is currently living with a diabetes diagnosis, it’s a great time to take a few moments to reflect on this question: Do you have a diabetic foot care plan?
You see, when it comes to diabetes, it’s much better to be proactive than reactive. Don’t sit around and wait for complications to occur! A comprehensive diabetic foot care plan—including all the items you need to protect your feet—can help you stop problems like ulcers, injuries, and nerve damage before they occur.
What does a comprehensive diabetic foot care plan look like? Glad you asked!
- Examine your feet closely every day for injuries, swelling, or other peculiarities. Follow up with your physician if you notice any.
- Monitor and regulate your sugar levels as rigorously as possible. Staying within a healthy range prevents the buildup of long-term nerve and circulatory damage.
- Eat a healthy diet and avoid smoking or excess alcohol consumption.
- Stay active. Work with your medical team to develop a healthy exercise plan that keeps you fit and keeps the blood flowing to your feet.
- Wash your feet every day and keep the skin soft and smooth. Carefully and neatly trim your toenails straight across, then file them gently.
- Wear socks and shoes at all times of the day, including when you’re indoors. Your foot care team may recommend special diabetic socks and shoes for extra protection.
- Protect feet from hot and cold. If you’ve lost sensitivity in your feet, make sure you test bath water with a thermometer or elbow, and protect your feet from scalding sand or ground. Do not use heating pads or electric blankets.
- Do not attempt to remove corns, calluses, warts, or other foot lesions on your own, as the risk of infection is too high. Instead, visit your podiatrist for care.
- Schedule regular diabetic foot care checkups with your podiatrist. We recommend at least once per year for those with no history of foot problems, and more frequently for those who do. These checkups help us care for any existing foot issues, as well as monitor for future complications.
At Family Foot & Ankle of Jasper, our caring staff can help you address any diabetic foot care concerns, from proactive prevention to emergency care for wounds and injury. Call us today at (812) 481-7200.