When you have diabetes, you can quickly develop what is called, "diabetes foot". This condition can be painful and prone to infection. I will share with you my recommendations on how to prevent and repair this problem with the right steps.
First, diabetes is a serious disease that can develop from lack of insulin production in the body or due to the inability of the body's insulin to perform its normal everyday functions.
People with diabetes should pay special attention to their feet since there is a narrowing of the arteries that frequently leads to significantly decreased circulation in the lower part of the legs and the feet known as "diabetes foot".
Poor circulation contributes this problem by reducing the amount of oxygen and nutrition supplied to the skin and other tissue, causing injuries to heal poorly. Poor circulation can also lead to swelling and dryness of the foot.
Daily observation of the feet is critical. I tell my clients that when a diabetic takes the necessary preventative foot care measures, he or she reduces the risks of developing skin problems as well as other serious problems.
Here are some important, basic ways in which you can care for your diabetes foot problem:
Check your feet often for blisters, open sores, scrapes, calluses, bunions, unusually warm skin, and anything else that looks suspicious.
Treat your feet with the best hygiene to control infection. Begin your daily foot care routine by washing your feet with an anti-bacterial non-soap cleanser in warm (not hot) water. As relaxing as it can be, do not soak your feet -- it could cause your skin to become too soft and more prone to injury. Dry your feet well using a clean cotton towel. Be sure to dry between your toes as well.
Moisturize your dry feet with a soothing natural cream that can repair and hydrate your skin 7 skin layers deep to keep your feet moist. It should contain the right blend of anti-oxidant vitamins, healing herbs, shea butter and urea which acts as a strong humectant and protectorante. When you go outside, apply sunscreen to the tops of your feet to avoid burning.
Keep your toenails neat and trimmed by using clippers and cutting the nail straight across. Don't cut into the corners of the nail. You can cut too deep and expose your toe to an infection.
Smooth the edges of your nails with an emery board. When the toenails of a diabetes foot becomes thick or yellowed, it is best to have a health care professional trim them for you.
Wear comfortable shoes that provide "breathing room" for your feet. A tight shoe can cause a blister or a callus, which could lead to a diabetic foot ulcer. So you might consider special shoes with extra support and cushioning.
Clean, thick socks also give extra cushioning and reduce the friction between your foot and shoe. Before you put on your shoes, check inside them for pebbles or other things that could hurt your foot.
Finally, it is not recommended to resort to over the counter creams that contain harmful ingredients or hyrdrocortisone creams that ultimately damage your skin further. In fact, in June of 2008 the Food and Drug Administration warned patients that using large amounts of a Johnson & Johnson diabetes foot ulcer medication could heighten their risk of dying from cancer.
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Letter to Nanette:
I have diabetes and I am on my feet constantly at work. Due to my condition and standing all the time, the skin on my feet and heels would dry and crack so extensively that, at times I would get sores that were gaping and seeping and would never heal. I was constantly in fear of getting an infection that I'm ashamed to say it but I would tape the skin together before going to work in the morning. I tried the wash and cream you recommended for diabetes foot conditions and I am so thankful with the results. My skin is healthy again and I've thrown away the tape! B.T., Newark, N.J.
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