Should People with Diabetes Soak Their Feet? | Diabetes Health Page

Should People with Diabetes Soak Their Feet?

By Bobby | Articles

Jan 31

Soaking your feet can help sooth the pain and relax the feet. Furthermore, a warm salty bath may be ideal for improving the blood circulation. But, what about preventing diabetic foot infections?

Unfortunately, soaking diabetic feet might cause inflammation and increase the pain. Unlike tired feet, diabetic feet problems are chronic and can’t be treated with a simple soak. Soaking can only help provide short-term pain relief.

But, it can’t be used for treating chronic pain. Furthermore, diabetic feet often have infections that require medical treatment. Therefore, it is best to consult with a doctor if you have persistent and reoccurring feet pain.

Can a Person with Diabetes Use a Foot Spa?

The answer is No.

Sadly, if you have diabetes, soaking the feet for a long time is not effective for soothing the chronic pain. Furthermore, it might even damage the nerves and muscles. In fact, even if the feet become softer in the water, they became dry and cracked once you stop soaking them.

In addition, when the water evaporates, the skin becomes drier than ever before. Plus, if you use herbs or salt balls in the water, the feet might even become drier. Why? Well, people with diabetes have drier feet than the people without it.

Therefore, excessive drying from soaking can cause even more pain and skin cracks. Furthermore, there is a chance that warm water might even increase the inflammation. So, unless you are experiencing short-term feet pain, you shouldn’t use a foot spa.

What to Use?

Instead of a foot spa, you can use better treatment. Many doctors recommend moisturizing the feet with an ointment or a lotion. This will keep the feet moisturized and soft.

Diabetic Feet

The reason why foot spa may not be good for your health is that it can damage the nerves, which in turn can cause neuropathy. The symptoms of neuropathy are:

  • gradual numbness
  • tingling or pricking in the feet
  • sharp pain, freezing, or jabbing
  • loss of balance
  • extreme sensitivity to touch

Since the longest nerves in the body are in the feet, they are the most affected by neuropathy than the rest of the body.

Why Should a Person with Diabetes Avoid Foot Soaks

Many complications might occur from nerve damage, especially after long foot soaks. For example:

  • You probably won’t know if the water is too hot or cold. Therefore, you might hurt yourself without noticing.
  • The hot water can increase inflammation.
  • After a long soak, diabetic feet might become drier than before. The reason why this happens is because diabetic feet are drier than normal feet and can cause pain.
  • The skin might crack even more.

As a result, many recommend avoiding foot soaks if you have diabetes.

An Alternative

There are more beneficial ways you can use instead of a foot spa. The best ones are the following:

  • Feet massages (It is always a good idea to massage your feet with a simple hand massage. This way you can boost circulation.)
  • Using moisturizers or lotions (Do NOT apply moisturizers between the toes. The toes should remain dry.)
  • Wiggle your toes (Rotate the ankles for about 5 minutes to keep the feet active.)