Tips on foot care for diabetics

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The long-term diabetes can have like consequence of the damage of nerve and the poor circulation of blood.

If the nerves in your feet were damaged, you can have reduced the feeling and not to note a wound with your feet.

The wound can also cure badly because of the circulation of blood reduced, which can then lead to ulceration and the infection. Those can be very serious and finally lead to the amputations.

Here are some tips from Ms Lynn Toh, a podiatrist at the National University Hospital's Rehabilitation Centre.

Inspecting your feet

Check your feet every day, between the toes, and around the heels and soles, for cuts, signs of swelling, redness, blisters, corns and calluses.

You may use a mirror to see the soles of your feet. You may need someone to help if you cannot do this yourself, for example, if your eyesight is poor or you cannot reach your feet. You should seek medical attention if there are any wounds, swelling or redness, or if you experience pain.

Washing your feet

Avoid baths that are too hot. If you have reduced sensation in the feet, you may not be able to feel pain well and be unable to judge with your feet if the water is too hot.

You can prevent burns by testing the water with your elbows first.

It is common for those with diabetes to have dry skin, so look out for washing products with labels that read "soap substitute" or "soap-free".

Soap substitutes contain alternative ingredients to soap. They are gentler on the skin and may prevent allergies.

They contain urea glycerol, propylene glycol or lactic acid, ingredients which help to form a protective layer over the skin to prevent water from evaporating and drying out the skin.

Nail cutting

Trim your toenails straight across, avoid cutting the corners or cutting the nails too short.

This is to prevent accidentally cutting the flesh and to avoid the occurrence of ingrown toenails.

Use a nail file to file down any sharp edges.

Choosing footwear

Opt for covered shoes to protect the toes and avoid wearing open-toe slippers, high heels or slip-on shoes that provide inadequate support and protection for the feet.

Your shoes should also be wide and deep enough to accommodate any deformities of the feet.

You can consider wearing shoes with laces or straps across to prevent the feet from moving in the shoes.

Ensure that the soles and heel counter of the footwear are firm enough to support the feet.

Wearing inappropriate footwear can lead to blisters, corns and calluses, which will increase the risk of wound formation.

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