The foot is the most complex part of our body. It includes a total of 33 joints, 26 bones, and more than 100 muscles to smoothly operate this part. But how much do you care about your foot? Do you know how to take care of your foot for better mobility?
We, regular people usually do not care about our feet. Especially, diabetic patients are most vulnerable to foot problems. Following the foot care tips for diabetic patients can help them to reduce the pain and chance of rising foot problems.
In this article, we will provide you with some foot care tips for better mobility and also we will show some foot care tips specialized for diabetic patients.
Common Foot Problems
Before knowing the foot care tips, the first question comes to mind- “What are the most common foot problems?”According to Cleveland Clinic, the most common foot problems include bunion, plantar fasciitis, foot corn, heel spurs, and ingrown toenails.
Now, older people can ask, “What are common foot problems in older adults?” These include Diabetic Foot Ulcer, Osteoarthritis, Morton's Neuroma, Achilles Tendinitis, etc.
To solve these podiatry common foot problems, you should contact a healthcare professional or especially a podiatrist. They will assess your foot condition and will provide you with a specific treatment plan for your problems.
In the next section, we will discuss some important foot care tips to solve foot pain causes and common foot problems.
5 Important Foot Care Tips To Prevent Foot Problems
How to take care of your foot at home? This is a common question asked by our busy readers who are mostly engaged in working life. Here are some basic hand and foot care tips at home for our readers.
- Keep them clean: Regularly wash your hands and feet with warm water and mild soap to remove dirt, bacteria, and sweat. Pay attention to the areas between your fingers and toes, as well as under your nails. After washing, dry them thoroughly to prevent fungal or bacterial infections.
- Moisturize: Apply a good quality moisturizer to your hands and feet daily to keep the skin hydrated and prevent dryness and cracking. Look for moisturizers that contain ingredients like shea butter, glycerin, or coconut oil. Before applying moisturizer, it's advisable to remove any dead skin cells by exfoliating.
- Exfoliate: Exfoliating your hands and feet helps to remove dead skin cells and promote cell renewal, leaving your skin smoother and softer. You can use a gentle scrub or a pumice stone to exfoliate the rough areas. Pay attention to the heels, soles, and knuckles while exfoliating.
- Take care of your nails: Trim your nails regularly to maintain their shape and prevent ingrown nails. Use a nail clipper or nail scissors to cut them straight across and smooth the edges with a file. Avoid cutting them too short to prevent pain and potential infections. Also, keep your cuticles moisturized and gently push them back using a cuticle pusher or a wooden stick.
- Wear supportive shoes: Choose comfortable and properly fitting shoes that provide adequate support for your feet. Ill-fitting shoes can lead to foot problems like blisters, corns, and calluses. Opt for shoes made from breathable materials that allow air circulation to reduce the risk of fungal infections. Avoid wearing high heels for extended periods as they can cause discomfort and strain on your feet.
Foot Care Tips for Diabetic Patients
Proper foot care is crucial for individuals with diabetes, as they are more prone to foot complications. Here are important foot care tips for diabetic patients:
- Check your feet every day for any unnoticed injury: Inspect your feet thoroughly, including the soles, tops, heels, and between the toes, for any cuts, blisters, redness, swelling, or signs of infection. Diabetic neuropathy, a condition that affects nerve sensation, can make it challenging to notice injuries, so a daily foot check is essential to catch any problems early.
- Wash your feet regularly: Clean your feet with lukewarm water and mild soap. Gently wash and dry between the toes, ensuring you remove any dirt or bacteria. Avoid soaking your feet for long periods, as it can lead to excessive moisture, which can contribute to fungal infections.
- Always wear footwear: Protect your feet by wearing comfortable, well-fitting shoes and socks at all times. Choose shoes made of breathable materials with adequate cushioning and support. Avoid wearing shoes without socks or going barefoot, as it increases the risk of injuries. Ensure your shoes fit properly and do not cause friction or pressure points that could lead to sores or blisters.
- Don't remove corns or calluses yourself:Corns and calluses may develop on the feet due to pressure and friction. It's important not to try to remove them yourself, as it can lead to injury or infection. Instead, consult a healthcare professional or a podiatrist for proper treatment and advice.
- Keep the blood flowing: Good blood circulation is vital for foot health. Regularly move and stretch your feet and ankles throughout the day to promote blood flow. Avoid sitting or standing for prolonged periods and elevate your feet when possible. If you have any circulation issues or concerns, consult your healthcare provider for appropriate management.
Additionally, maintaining proper blood sugar control is essential for overall foot health in diabetic patients. Follow your diabetes management plan, including taking medication as prescribed, monitoring your blood sugar levels regularly, eating a balanced diet, and engaging in regular physical activity.
Winter Foot Care Tips
- Ensure your shoes are thoroughly dried – Winter often brings more rain compared to summer, and the lower temperature slows down the drying process. Moist shoes create a favorable environment for bacteria and fungus to thrive, increasing the risk of infections. Prior to wearing your shoes, make sure you dry them completely each time.
- Keep your feet warm – Cold winters increase the chances of developing chill blains, which occur due to reduced blood flow caused by low temperatures. Blood vessels constrict, leading to inadequate oxygen supply to the tissues. To keep your feet warm at night, use wool or cotton socks. You can also consider using creams like deep heat on your toes to promote blood flow. During the day, wear closed shoes and socks, or try using a foot warmer.
- Ensure proper shoe fit – Enclosed shoes are commonly worn during winter, with slip-ons being a popular choice. Slip-ons tend to be tighter than traditional lace-up shoes to prevent them from slipping off. However, it's important to ensure that your shoes have enough room to prevent the development of corns or calluses.
- Stay active – Cold weather can reduce blood flow to your feet. It's crucial to maintain regular exercise to promote proper circulation.
- Moisturize your feet – Regardless of the season, it's important to apply a good moisturizer to your feet.
- Wear socks with your shoes – Avoid going sockless as it allows your feet to sweat directly into your shoes, leading to skin abrasion and settling of dead skin cells in the fabric. Moist and sweaty shoes provide an ideal environment for infections and fungus to thrive. Always wear socks and remember to wash them daily. If you have excessively sweaty feet, consider changing your socks twice a day.
Taking proper care of your foot can relieve you from several foot diseases which can cost you a lot. Remember, in the case of foot care and keeping yourself safe from getting bunions, corns, or other problems we mentioned above, is taking preventive measures and a healthy foot style. You might need foot care support products to solve the problems as well as custom orthotics sometime.