Here’s How to Give Ourself a Diabetic Foot Check
Diabetes and the routines on a daily basis go hand in hand – having healthy and balanced meals, relaxing, getting enough sleep, doing some physical activity on a daily basis and monitoring blood glucose levels.
However, there is one more thing people should do on a daily basis, and that is checking their feet.
By doing that, people will stay a step ahead when it comes to the possible foot complications related to diabetes. It is not that hard all people need to do is perform self-exams on a regular basis.
Fortunately, people don’t have to be very elastic in order to do this exam at home.
In case one never had foot complications they can examine their feet once a week. In case people have a history of foot wound, or they have lost sensation in their feet they need to do this exam every single day.
Better safe, than sorry right? Belly flab or limited flexibility might make this exam hard to do alone. If that is the case, they should feel free to ask for a caretaker or a companion to help. Below they will see 9 simple steps to make a diabetic foot check at home.
9 Steps to Do a Good Diabetic Foot Check Ourselves
#1 Get In the Right Position to Examine the Feet
First, we must clean our feet thoroughly, sit on a toilet, chair or bed in a well-lit room. Make sure that our legs hang comfortably right in front of u. Then we need to lift one foot over the other so we can quickly check it.
Bear in mind that the supporting leg needs to be relaxed.
#2 Dry the Foot
With the help of a soft cloth or a bath towel dry the foot. Also, make sure to dry between the toes.
#3 Check the Bottom of the Foot
With the help of the hands rotate the ankle slightly in order for the sole to be angled upward and be visible. Make sure not to overextend the ankle. In case we cannot see the bottom of the foot, feel free to use a handheld mirror in order to see its reflection.
Heels – Feel for the cracked, dry or rough skin. We should bear in mind that even small fissures might become infected. Therefore just to be safe, moisturize on a daily basis with colorless, odorless lotion.
However, do not moisturize between the toes since bacteria love moist, warm places.
Balls of feet – Look for irregular textures and bumps. This part endures pressure when we walk. Therefore corns or calluses might develop. To reduce this risk we must make sure to have proper-fitting footwear.
Soles of feet – feel for lumps and bumps, that might be signs of bone or muscle injuries. To consult our doctor in case we notice open wounds known as ulcers or if the signs persist.
#4 Feel the Foot
Feel the foot with the help of our hands, checking the top and bottom for any temperature changes or bumps from one part of our foot to another. Make sure to do the same procedure with our other foot.
#5 Look Carefully at the Feet
We should do a visual inspection. Look for any abnormalities on top of the feet like corns, bruises, scabs or sores. Check the toenails and toes for proper length or nail color.
Tops of feet – Look for any signs of lowered blood flow, like shiny or thin skin, abnormal hairlessness, and temperature variation. We should bear in mind that we can boost our blood flow with the help of physical activity and blood sugar control.
#6 Check the Toes
With the help of our fingers, we need to spread the toes apart and look at them. Check every single toenail and the fleshy area around it.
Around toenails – search for ingrown toenails which are usually characterized by puffy, reddened skin around the nail. The ingrown nail might need surgery if they are ignored for an extended period.
Toes – To test THE blood flow, squeeze the balls of the toes, but do it gently. If everything is alright, regular color returns within 5 seconds. Discolored toes is a sign of some circulatory issues.
Toenails – Check unpolished nails for flaking, thickness or discoloration, that might be symptoms of fungal infections. Consult a doctor about this, he or she might advise prescription treatment or over-the-counter treatment.
#7 Track Foot Self-Exams
We need to keep a record of our self-exams. After every self-exam we need to write down about any unusual temperatures, sores, corns, etc. Describe in detail how these irregularities smell, feel or look.
Make sure to compare these notes form exam to exam. In case any condition has worsened, or in case we notice new problems, we need to consult our doctor immediately.
#8 Keep Our Feet Safe Outdoors
Yes, for most people warm weather is welcomed, but bear in mind that increased activity, sun, and sandals might stress our feet.
Therefore, when preparing to go outside, we should consider these following tips:
- Make sure to have water shoes on while near water or in water. Sandy beaches and pool linings might lead to cuts which are easy to overlook.
- Always have shoes on when we go outside. Hot sand and asphalt might scorch bare feet without any warning. Also, we will never know what sharp objects might lurk in our driveway or maybe our lawn.
- Always use sunscreen for our feet. Burns which bubble or peel might become infected.
- Avoid strappy sandals and flip-flops. Why? Because friction might lead to blisters and the open designs make our feet exposed to different hazards.
- After every outdoor activity, we need to check our feet. Poison ivy, splinters and bug bites lead to skin breaks which might become infected. To treat and clean any wounds right away.
#9 For Thick Nails Use Toenail Clippers
Get clippers since they are very simple and easy to control only with one hand. The clippers are less likely to lead to ingrown nails or nip the skin.
In case we have poor eyesight, history of ulcers or loss of feeling in the feet, seek professional care for our nails.
Proper foot care is important for those who have diabetes. From doctor checkups to self-foot exams, there are many ways to keep our feet in proper shape, catch an issue before it becomes serious and improve circulation.