When To Seek Professional Help
You can do a lot to keep your feet healthy. In addition to protecting the skin on your feet by making smart drugstore purchases, you can extend their life by maintaining blood glucose control, following a heart-healthy diet, getting regular exercise, and wearing shoes that fit well. However, if you develop foot pain, wounds that dont heal quickly, or any other foot problem in spite of your best efforts, dont hesitate to call your podiatrist or another member of your diabetes care team. Foot problems that are caught early have the best chance of successful treatment.
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Protect Your Feet With Shoes And Socks
Never go barefoot or only in socks. You donât want to step on rocks, tacks, or small pieces of glass that could cut your feet. Always protect your feet with shoes, hard-soled slippers, or similar footwear. Wear shoes/boots that will protect your feet from weather conditions like cold and moisture. Wear slippers at home.
Don’t wear shoes with high heels and pointed toes. Avoid shoes that leave your toes or heels unprotected, like open-toed shoes, flip-flops, or sandals. They leave you vulnerable for injury and infections.
Change your socks daily. Wear natural-fibers: cotton, wool, or a cotton-wool blend. Donât use socks with seams that might rub against your skin and cause blisters. Avoid tight socks.
Try on new footwear with the type of socks you usually wear. Don’t wear new shoes for more than an hour at a time.
Look and feel inside your shoes before putting them on to make sure there’s nothing irritating in them or rough areas.
Wear special shoes if your doctor recommends them. Replace your shoes when they show signs of wear, such as heels that are worn down on one side or lining that is torn.
When To See A Doctor
People who have diabetes should see a doctor regularly as part of their care.
However, anyone who notices any of the following changes should seek immediate medical attention:
- changes in skin color on the foot
- swelling in the foot or ankle
- temperature changes in the feet
- persistent sores on the feet
- pain or tingling in the feet or ankles
- ingrowing toenails
Treatment for diabetic foot problems varies according to the severity of the condition. A range of surgical and nonsurgical options is available.
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Why Its Important To Use A Moisturizer For Diabetic Feet
If you have diabetes, dry skin can be the result of uncontrolled blood sugar affecting the nerves in your feet and legs. This can cause your feet to not get messages from your brain to sweat. Sweat is what keeps your skin moist and soft.
When this occurs, it is due to a condition called diabetic neuropathy. Fortunately, moisturizing as part of your daily routine can help keep your feet feeling soft and hydrated.
The Best Foot Soaks For Neuropathy And Diabetic Foot Pain
Peripheral neuropathy is a painful condition where the peripheral nerves of the feet and/or hands are damaged. Its mostly caused by diabetes or chemotherapy treatments for cancers. The extent of nerve damage, as well as the symptoms intensity, vary from one person to the other. While some find relief in prescribed medications, others prefer turning to home remedies and alternative pain-management solutions.
Soaking your feet in a basin filled with warm water or in a foot spa can help calm down neuropathy symptoms. Foot soaks are also a great opportunity to add natural pain-relieving and soothing ingredients such as Epsom salts, essential oils for neuropathy, medicinal herbs, or Cannabidiol products.
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How Does Diabetes Affect Your Feet And Legs
If you’re managing diabetes, you may encounter problems with your feet and legs, two common complications of the disease. Diabetes puts you at higher risk for calluses, corns, bunions, blisters, and ulcers and high blood sugar means these minor injuries and alterations may become gateways to potentially disabling infections.
But you can take several steps to help keep your feet in good shape, including wearing specialized footwear, having regular foot exams, and performing low-impact exercise.
Why does this complication occur in the first place? First, know that high blood sugar levels damage nerves. Researchers arent exactly sure how this damage happens, but they think that blood sugar may have a negative effect on the nervous systems cells and enzymes, according to the Joslin Diabetes Center. These damaged nerves may lead to diabetic neuropathy, a condition in which you lose feeling in your feet or your hands.
According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, neuropathy occurs in about 70 percent of people with diabetes, and its symptoms can result in harmful infections. After all, if you can’t feel your feet, you won’t be able to notice cuts, sores, or pain. And if you cant feel these irritations and wounds, they may lead to infection, and untreated infections can lead to gangrene, which in turn can require amputation.
Additional reporting by Carlene Bauer
What Other Conditions Can Affect Diabetic Feet
People with diabetes also can develop Charcot foot, a rare complication that can cause permanent deformity. In Charcot foot, nerve damage weakens the bones and joints. The bones can break, and the joints can dislocate or collapse.
Read more about preventing diabetes complications.
A note from Cleveland Clinic
Diabetic feet are at risk for ulcers and infections, which may go unnoticed in people with diabetic neuropathy and numbness. If you have diabetes, its important to care for your feet every day and report any problems to your healthcare provider. Early treatment can prevent hospitalization, deformity and amputation.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 04/26/2021.
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What Is The Best Thing To Soak Your Feet In To Remove Dead Skin
- Add liquid body soap to water and soak your feet.
- Scrub off the dead skin with a pumice stone.
- Rinse, dry and moisturize your feet.
- Mix hot water, vinegar and Listerine in a small foot tub.
- Soak your feet and gently scrub them with a loofah.
- Rinse and dry your feet.
- Prepare and soak your feet in an Epsom salt foot bath.
Smooth Corns And Calluses Gently
Thick patches of skin called corns or calluses can grow on the feet. If you have corns or calluses, talk with your foot doctor about the best way to care for these foot problems. If you have nerve damage, these patches can become ulcers.
If your doctor tells you to, use a pumice stone to smooth corns and calluses after bathing or showering. A pumice stone is a type of rock used to smooth the skin. Rub gently, only in one direction, to avoid tearing the skin.
- use corn plasters, which are medicated pads
- use liquid corn and callus removers
Cutting and over-the counter corn removal products can damage your skin and cause an infection.
To keep your skin smooth and soft, rub a thin coat of lotion, cream, or petroleum jelly on the tops and bottoms of your feet. Do not put lotion or cream between your toes because moistness might cause an infection.
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What Things Should I Avoid To Care For My Feet
Don’t use any instruments on your feet without your doctor’s advice.
Don’t cut calluses or corns, or use medicine to remove them, unless your doctor tells you it’s okay.
Don’t soak your feet.
Don’t use hot water, a heating pad or a massager on your feet.
Don’t go barefoot.
Don’t use adhesive tape or chemicals on the skin of your feet.
Don’t put inserts or pads in your shoes without your doctor’s advice.
Don’t walk in wet shoes.
Don’t place your feet on cold or hot surfaces.
Don’t use any tobacco productsâthey affect blood flow in ways that are especially dangerous to people with diabetes.
Epsom Salts Foot Baths & Magnesium Deficiency
Epsom, or magnesium sulphate, is popularly used to soothe muscle aches, reduce pain, relieve itching, decrease swelling, and boost magnesium levels. While it may seem perfect for neuropathy symptoms that are often increased by a magnesium deficiency, soaking your feet in Epsom salts has to be done carefully. Epsom salts foot baths could indeed dry out your skin and lead to more foot problems. Dont abuse it, and always apply some moisturizing foot creams after the soak.
Theres no evidence that the body can absorb magnesium through the skin. If you have a magnesium deficiency and need to boost your magnesium levels, your doctor would probably recommend you to take magnesium supplements instead.
Village Naturals Therapy Chronic Pain Relief is a great therapeutic soak for pain caused by damaged nerves. Its made with a mix of Epsom salts and sea salts, with a powerful blend of oils, essential oils, and plant extracts known for their pain-relief and soothing properties.
Main ingredients: Epsom salts, sea salts, Arnica, Ginger, Blueberry oil, Flaxseed oil, Rosemary essential oil.
2. Daily Remedy Calming Lavender Foot Soak
Main ingredients: Dead Sea salts, Epsom salts, Lavender essential oil, Aloe Vera extract, Tea Tree essential oil, Jojoba oil, Argan oil, Geranium oil, Vitamin E.
3. Better Bath Better Body Circulation Foot Soak
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Diabetes And Foot Problems
Foot problems are common in people with diabetes. You might be afraid youll lose a toe, foot, or leg to diabetes, or know someone who has, but you can lower your chances of having diabetes-related foot problems by taking care of your feet every day. Managing your blood glucose levels, also called blood sugar, can also help keep your feet healthy.
Cuts Bumps Sores And Burns
Don’t wait to treat a minor foot problem if you have diabetes. Report foot injuries and infections right away. Follow your doctor’s guidelines and first aid guidelines.
Don’t self-treat your corns, calluses, or other foot problems. Go to your doctor or podiatrist to treat these conditions.
Check water temperature with your elbow or a thermometer, not your foot, to make sure itâs not hot . Don’t wash your feet in hot water, which could cause burns.
Don’t use a heating pad, water bottles, or electric blankets on your feet, because they could cause burns.
Don’t cross your legs or stand in one position for a long time. This can block blood flow to your feet.
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For Healthy Feet: Skip The Soak
Soaking your feet may feel soothing and seem smart, but it isn’t necessary and it can be dangerous. In fact, if you have dry skin on your feet, they should never be soaked. Prolonged soaking opens small cracks in your skin where germs can get in. That’s how infections get started. Soaking also removes your natural skin oils. Repeatedly wetting and drying your feet can worsen dry skin problems, especially if you don’t replenish lost moisture afterwards. For these reasons, soaking is not recommended. From a health point of view, the risks of soaking your feet outweigh the benefits. If you’re a diehard fan of foot baths and can’t give them up, save them for when you don’t have any wounds on your feet. Make sure the water isn’t too hot, and don’t let your feet stay submerged for too long . Use a moisturizing lotion afterwards.Continue reading > >
What Should I Know About Choosing Shoes And Socks
Don’t wear shoes without socks.
Don’t wear sandals or other open-toed shoes.
Don’t wear high-heeled shoes and shoes with pointed toes.
Wear well-padded socks or stockings that are 1/2 inch longer than your longest toe.
Don’t wear stretch socks, nylon socks, socks with an elastic band or garter at the top, or socks with inside seams.
Don’t wear uncomfortable or tight shoes that rub or cut into your feet. If you’ve had problems before because of shoes that didn’t fit, you may want to be fitted for a custom-molded shoe.
Shop for new shoes at the end of the day when your feet are a little swollen. If shoes are comfortable when your feet are swollen, they’ll probably be comfortable all day.
Break in new shoes slowly by wearing them for no more than an hour a day for several days.
Change socks and shoes every day. Have at least 2 pairs of shoes so you can switch pairs every day.
Look inside your shoes every day for things like gravel or torn linings. These things could rub and cause blisters or sores on your feet.
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Control Your Blood Sugar
The best prevention for nerve pain, ultimately, is to manage your diabetes well. In fact, a 2006 study by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases showed that strict blood glucose control with intensive insulin therapy lowered the chances in people with type I diabetes of having symptoms of peripheral neuropathy — tingling, burning, and pain — by 64%. These results have also been shown to hold true in type II diabetes, too.
The two most important determinants of whether you get diabetic neuropathy are how many years you have had diabetes and how well you control your blood sugar. Other factors, including controlling blood pressure and blood fats and not smoking are also important to prevent diabetic neuropathy.
Controlling your blood glucose also helps reduce the symptoms of diabetic nerve pain. So the good news is that controlling your glucose levels with diet, exercise, and if needed, medications can not only help prevent diabetic peripheral neuropathy, but they can also help ease its effects.
What Is The Outlook For People With Diabetic Foot
Diabetic foot ulcers are fairly common in people who have had diabetes for a long time. Even with foot checks and careful blood glucose monitoring, some people with diabetes develop infections.
The outlook depends on factors such as:
- How early the wound was found.
- Presence of infection and how much it spreads.
- Treatment effectiveness.
If the infection cant be controlled and spreads too far, amputation may be necessary.
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Some Tips To Take Care Of Your Foot When You Are Diabetic
The following are a few basic tips that will help you avoid diabetes-related foot issues:
- You should check your feet on a regular basis for dry skin and cracks
- You should keep your feet clean and wash the same daily
- Your toenails should not be allowed to grow too long. If they happen to grow long, they can peer into the skin which is not very healthy.
- Check your shoes before putting on the same. Try to remove any unwanted objects that can hurt your feet
- You should also take the necessary steps to improve the circulation of blood in and around the area. Some tips include:
- Do not sit in one place continuously for a long period of time
- Exercise regularly
- Always try to keep your feet up while you sit
Thus, we hope that the above article has been helpful in improving your understanding of the relationship between diabetes and Epsom salt. Epsom salt, otherwise considered healthy, should not be used by a person suffering from diabetes. You should consult your doctor for the same and unless he otherwise prescribes, the use of Epsom salt should be prevented!
Tips For Healthy Feet
Get to the bottom of any foot problems by using a mirror or asking for help.
Check your feet every day for cuts, redness, swelling, sores, blisters, corns, calluses, or any other change to the skin or nails. Use a mirror if you cant see the bottom of your feet, or ask a family member to help.
Wash your feet every day in warm water. Dont soak your feet. Dry your feet completely and apply lotion to the top and bottombut not between your toes, which could lead to infection.
Never go barefoot. Always wear shoes and socks or slippers, even inside, to avoid injury. Check that there arent any pebbles or other objects inside your shoes and that the lining is smooth.
Wear shoes that fit well. For the best fit, try on new shoes at the end of the day when your feet tend to be largest. Break in your new shoes slowlywear them for an hour or two a day at first until theyre completely comfortable. Always wear socks with your shoes.
Trim your toenails straight across and gently smooth any sharp edges with a nail file. Have your foot doctor trim your toenails if you cant see or reach your feet.
Dont remove corns or calluses yourself, and especially dont use over-the-counter products to remove themthey could burn your skin.
Get your feet checked at every health care visit. Also, visit your foot doctor every year for a complete exam, which will include checking for feeling and blood flow in your feet.
Be sure to ask your doctor what else you can do to keep your feet healthy.
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Why Do Diabetics Get Sores On Their Feet
Diabetic foot care is important because if not treated properly, it can lead to amputation. Diabetics should wear comfortable shoes and socks that fit well. It is recommended that diabetics check their feet daily and cleanse them with warm water and soap. Diabetics should avoid wearing sandals or flip flops because these types of footwear can trap moisture between the skin and the shoe. Diabetics should also be careful about walking barefoot outside. Diabetics should always wash their feet after each explainer or bath. Diabetics should never walk barefoot on cold floors or sidewalks. Diabetics should inspect their feet every day for cuts, blisters, sores, redness, swelling, or any other signs of infection. Diabetics should see a doctor immediately if they notice any changes in their feet such as pain, numbness, tingling, or loss of feeling.