If you have diabetes, it’s important to know where you stand on foot health. People with diabetes are at risk for nerve damage and poor blood flow; both can lead to serious foot problems.
Making everyday foot care a part of your wellness plan can help keep your feet healthy. Here are 10 tips to put your best feet first:
Wear shoes and slippers. Avoiding bare feet can help prevent injuries. Before you put your shoes on, check the insides. Make sure there’s nothing small like a pebble that could hurt you.
Check them daily. Examine your feet each day to look for any damage. This can include cuts, redness, swelling, sores, blisters, corns, and calluses.
Wash every day. Give your feet a daily rinse in warm water. Dry them and apply lotion to the tops and bottoms. Skip between the toes; that could lead to infection.
Go slow with new shoes. If you are looking for a new pair of shoes, try them on at the end of the day. This is when your feet tend to be the biggest. Once you’ve bought new shoes, break them in slowly. Try wearing them for one or two hours a day. When they’re comfortable, try them for a longer stretch.
Say yes to socks. Wearing socks with your shoes lowers the risk of chafing. Be sure to put on a pair of comfortable socks before you put on your shoes.
Keep your toenails trimmed. If this is hard, have your foot doctor do it for you. If you are able to do it yourself, trim toenails straight across. Use a nail file to smooth any sharp edges.
Don’t treat foot problems yourself. Cutting corns and calluses or using over-the-counter removal products can damage your skin. If you have any foot problems, see your foot doctor for instructions on how to manage them.
Keep the blood flowing. Put your feet up while you are sitting. Wiggle your toes for a few minutes throughout the day. Make sure your socks or stockings are not too tight.
Stay active. Movement can also help boost blood flow to your feet. Talk to your doctor about what activities are feet friendly. Walking, riding a bike, and swimming are all good options.
Visit your foot doctor. Even if your feet are fine, it’s important to see the foot doctor once a year to get your feet checked for nerve damage. And be sure to remind your primary doctor to check your feet at every healthcare visit.
Questions about foot health? Message a coach on the Livongo app or schedule an appointment with your Livongo coach.