Diabetes is an important condition to manage, but it doesn't have to dominate the lives of those it affects. Diabetes is especially hard on your feet and legs, but a combination of new habits and modern technology can help you stay on your feet.
- Check feet every day. The first step of any process is being well-informed, and it's no different with foot care. Because numbness is a common symptom of diabetes, sores can develop without you feeling them. So, it's essential that you regularly check your legs and feet for any sores or cracks in the skin, so you can start treating them early.
- Keep your feet clean. Wash every day with a gentle cleanser and dry them thoroughly, with special attention to the area between your toes, to minimize the presence of irritants and the chances of infection.
- Moisturize. Your feet can lose their natural moisture, causing them to dry and crack. To keep your feet healthy and comfortable, apply a moisturizer every day. Avoid the areas between your toes.
- Wear comfortable, supportive shoes. A soft shoe that fits snugly but not tightly can make a world of difference. A shoe that's the wrong size can create excess pressure or friction, resulting in blisters or ulcers. There are also specialized shoes available that provide additional support, ranging from soft, shock-absorbing materials to fully customized doctor-prescribed footwear.
- Work proactively with your doctor. There's a lot you can do on your own, but doctors have the experience and expertise to identify and address minor issues before they become major. Come to your doctor with any questions or if any new symptoms arise, like sores or numbness, or if you sustain any unrelated foot injury, like an ingrown toenail.
Diabetes presents many obstacles, but with the right habits, tools, and support, we can take steps to overcome them.
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