Foot care is critical if you have diabetes. If you neglect to take care of your feet, it can lead to developing foot ulcers and infections. Taking care of your feet is just as important as taking care of your diet to lower your risk of complications.
Below are some myths and truths about healthy foot care.
Only those with high blood sugar levels should check their feet.
FALSE. Everyone with diabetes should check their feet. Keep an eye out for any cuts, sores, redness and swelling and visit your podiatrist as soon as possible as those could be signs of complications.
Avoid putting lotion on your feet if you have diabetes.
FALSE. It’s okay to put unscented lotion or creams on your feet, but try and stay away from applying those in between your toes as it can cause a fungal infection.
Avoid soaking your feet.
TRUE. Soaking your feet can dry out your skin which can develop cracks. It may seem like no big deal but these cracks can actually trap fungus and bacteria.
Getting a pedicure is okay if you have diabetes.
FALSE. If you have any cuts or sores on your feet, getting a pedicure is not a good idea. If you do want to get a pedicure, bring your own nail tools, ask the salon to use them on you and then make sure you wash them thoroughly when you get home. The reasoning behind bringing your own tools or avoiding salons all together? Sanitation. Salons are supposed to clean and sanitize the foot baths and tools after every use, and going to get a pedicure may run you the risk of being in danger when it comes to your feet.
Walk barefoot on the beach.
FALSE. The sand is full of rocks, shells and glass, which could be dangerous if you have cuts or sores on your feet. If you do insist on walking barefoot, protect your feet as best as you can. Wear shoes in rocky areas or if the sand gets too hot, and make sure to check your feet once you're home to see if there are any new scrapes or redness.
A foot doctor is key when you have diabetes.
TRUE. A podiatrist should check your feet at least once a year. If you have warts, thickening/yellow toenails, bunions or a cut that doesn’t seem to be healing, visit your podiatrist to see what they can do to help you.