Diabetic feet, even small scratches, can develop ulcers and necrosis. So how do you care for diabetic feet to avoid the risk of the limb?
According to WHO, 1 in every 20 seconds in the world has diabetic amputation due to foot complications. Although most people know they need to take care of their feet every day, because they don’t do it properly, they still face the risk of ulcers.
So, let us show you how to care for diabetic feet to avoid complications from foot ulcers or gangrene!
1. Cut your toenails horizontally
When you have diabetes, your toenails will be thicker and harder, even bent into the corners of your toenails. The habit of cutting your toenails in the usual way can create open wounds. It also allows bacteria to attack causing an infection ulcer.
To minimize this risk, you need to cut the nails horizontally, not close to the flesh of the toes. With the side of the nail, you have to use a file to trim the nail, not cut. The best time to cut your toenails is after a shower as it is quite soft and easy to cut.
People with diabetes should not handle cramped toenails on their own, but must be assisted by a doctor or nurse. If you handle it the wrong way, the wound will be deep and the risk of infection is very high.
2. Clean the toes thoroughly
Most patients pay attention to wash only on the surface of the feet without thorough hygiene between the toes. This is very dangerous because this is one of the places most susceptible to ulcers. If the toes are ulcerated, the infection may spread to the surrounding toes.
When washing your feet, wash the area between your toes and check for any unusual wounds or signs. After washing, you need to blot dry with a clean towel.
If you must use additional moisturizer, you should not apply to the interstitial foot but only on the surface and soles of the feet.
3. Treating wounds and ulcers
Seek medical attention right away if you have visible pus, necrosis or swelling.
In the case of a wound or ulcer in the foot, you need to know how to take care carefully to limit the ulcer, infection and speed up wound healing.
• For small wounds, scratches of uninfected skin: no swelling, heat, redness, pain, no discharge from pus.
– Wash the wound with 0.9% physiological saline or diluted Povidone. Provide purchased at a pharmacy is usually a 10% concentration. When using, you should dilute it in proportion 1/10. Also, you need to avoid using hydrogen peroxide because it can cause further injury.
– Use a clean cotton pad to dry the water.
– Apply antibiotic ointment (if any).
– Apply a gauze dressing, hydrochloride bandage or spray wound dressing.
You need to check the wound daily. If the wound has not healed after 2 weeks or if it smells, drains pus, appears black, swollen necrotic tissue, you need to go to the hospital immediately.
• For sores and infected wounds
You need to see a doctor for a checkup. The doctor will base on the depth and extent of infection of the wound to prescribe appropriate antibiotics. You should avoid sprinkling antibiotic powder on your ulcer or covering the leaves with oral transmission. This can cause the ulcer to penetrate deep inside the foot, making treatment more difficult.
4. Reduce pressure on the foot
One of the causes of diabetic foot complications is due to reduced blood flow to nourish your feet. To prevent this, you need:
– Use flat shoes.
– Do not sit cross-legged, do not sit for a long posture. If you have to travel long distances, sometimes you should get up and down, change your sitting position or move your legs back and forth to allow blood flow.
– If you have a wound, sore on your foot or foot deformed, cycle instead of walking. At the same time should raise your legs when sitting, lying down.
– Massage the soles of the feet in a circular motion and along the calves and thighs.
5. Arrange a safe space
The clean and tidy room helps you avoid the risk of foot injuries
People with diabetes, especially the elderly, often wake up at night to drink water or go to the toilet. The furniture in the room is too much and not properly arranged. It is likely to cause a collision that could cause the patient to scratch or bruise. Therefore, the patient and his family should arrange well-ventilated home furnishings. Also, you should choose the furniture with rounded edges to reduce the risk of accidental contact.
6. Choose the right footwear
Not all shoes are suitable for people with diabetes. Choose flat, breathable, elastic and closed-toed shoes like soft leather shoes and sports shoes instead of high heels. If your foot is deformed, you need to ask your doctor about shoes designed specifically for this case.
Also, you should go to buy shoes in the evening. With new shoes, the first days you should only go about 1 hour to get acquainted then gradually increase the number of hours. In particular, check the inside of the shoes for any sharp objects before walking.
7. Bring them even indoors
This will help you limit foot damage. However, when choosing all, you should note the following:
- Choose cotton socks or soft wool.
- Choose slippery socks and not floral or embroidered socks.
- Also, choose socks of moderate length, do not use knee-length socks and tight ankles.
- You should replace new socks every day, avoid using torn socks, not patched to use.
- Antiseptic solutions that can burn or harm your skin. You should never apply them in your feet without getting approval from your doctor.
- Never use an electric blanket, hot water bottle, or heating pad on your feet
- Avoid walking barefoot. Most people would ensure that they avoid sandy beaches or hot pavement but even walking barefoot even around the house can result in injuries.
- Protect your feet from cold and heat
- Don’t stand in one location or sit with your legs closed for long periods
- Avoid removing calluses, warts, corns, or any other foot wounds. See a doctor.
- Don’t soak your feet instead of wash and dry them appropriately
Call a Doctor if You Notice:
- The Swelling in the foot and ankle
- Changes in your skin color
- Changes in your skin temperature
- Pain in your legs
- Calluses or corns
- Open sores on your feet that are slow to heal and draining
- Toenails that are infected with fungus or have Ingrown toenails
- Persistent foot odor
- Dry cracks in the heel
The complication of diabetic foot ulcers can cause many physical and mental damage to patients. To get rid of nightmares, you need to actively take care of your feet every day, incorporating preventive measures. Don’t let diabetic complications take you down because of a small scratch!
Foot care for diabetics is an easy but very important procedure that you need not ignore. The article has offered essential tips for diabetic foot care. We believe that proper care should always be taken to solve any foot challenge quickly to avoid complications such as neuropathy. Don’t get tired of checking your foot daily and let’s continue with the advocacy for healthy feet.
Thank you for taking the time to read our article. And if you have any questions you need, please feel free to comment under the comment section. We will answer you as soon as possible.