Treatment of the feet is a very important aspect of care for the person who has diabetes mellitus. Changes can happen to the feet which can be very significant and can develop into limb and life threatening situations. If you have concerns about your feet, always see your family doctor. Here are some general guidelines:
1. Inspect your feet daily, morning and night. Check for red marks , abrasions, blisters or cuts to indicate trauma or rubbing in the shoe. If you can not see the bottom of your feet have someone help you or use a mirror. Make sure you look between the toes!
2. Wash your feet daily with mild soap and warm water. Test the water with your hand to make sure that it is not too hot. Do not soak for too long; soaking can cause dry skin. Dry your feet well and get between the toes!
3. Use a non-scented lotion to moisturize. Do not put lotion between the toes and wipe off any excess.
4. Wear clean proper fitting socks that do not have seams or tight elastic.
5. Inspect your shoes inside and out before putting them on. Make sure there are no foreign objects inside.
6. Make sure that your shoes fit properly. You should have approximately one centimetre from your longest toe to the end of the shoe. The shoe should not be stretched out over your foot; it should fit properly from side to side and be deep enough to accommodate any clawed toes. Your shoes should fit properly when you buy them - you should not "break them in". Click here for shoe fitting tips.
7. Have a professional cut you nails and treat callouses on a regular basis. If you do trim your own nails, make sure that you trim straight across and use an emery board to file edges smooth.
8. Always wear shoes or slippers to protect your feet - no barefoot! There are good supportive sandals that are available for those hot summer days.
9. If you have excess callouses, foot deformities or a history of foot ulcers, you may need foot orthoses (insoles). See your doctor.
10. If your foot and ankle is hot, red and swollen (even without pain) see your doctor immediately and do not put pressure on your foot.