Diabetes is a chronic condition endangering millions globally, and one of its potential complications is diabetic foot ulcers. A diabetic wound often occurs on the bottom of the feet and can be slow to heal, increasing the risk of infection and even amputation.

Fortunately, there’s a lot you can do at home to minimize wound risks and keep your feet healthy. Here are five essential tips:

1. Inspect Your Feet Daily

Regular foot checks are crucial for early detection of any potential problems. Make it a daily habit to inspect your feet thoroughly, looking for:

  • Cuts, scrapes, or blisters: Even minor injuries can quickly worsen due to reduced blood flow in diabetic feet.
  • Swelling: Puffiness in your feet or ankles might signal fluid buildup, a potential risk factor for diabetic foot wounds.
  • Skin color or temperature changes: Redness, coolness, or warmth could indicate inflammation or infection.
  • Corns or calluses: These thickened areas can crack and become entry points for infection.
  • Dry, cracked skin: Cracks can expose deeper tissues and increase infection risk.

Use a mirror to examine the soles and tops of your feet, paying close attention to areas between the toes. If you have difficulty reaching your feet, enlist the help of a family member or consider using a hand mirror.

2. Prioritize Proper Foot Care

Maintaining consistent good foot hygiene is essential for preventing diabetic wounds. Here’s a daily routine to follow:

  • Wash your feet with warm, soapy water: Gently clean the tops and bottoms of your feet, including between the toes. To prevent moisture buildup, pat them dry thoroughly, especially between the toes.
  • Moisturize dry skin: Use a lotion or cream designed explicitly for diabetic feet. Avoid putting moisturizer between the toes, as this can trap moisture.
  • Trim your toenails carefully: Cut them straight across and avoid cutting them too short. If you have difficulty seeing or reaching your feet, seek help from a podiatrist (foot doctor) for safe nail trimming.

3. Wear Proper Footwear Always

Your shoes play a vital role in protecting your feet. Here’s what to look for in diabetic wound healing footwear:

  • Proper fit: Shoes should be snug but not constricting. There should be enough space to wiggle your toes freely. Getting sized by a professional is recommended.
  • Seamless interior: Avoid shoes with seams or rough edges that could rub and irritate your skin.
  • Breathable materials: Choose natural leather or canvas shoes that allow for ventilation and prevent moisture buildup.
  • Protective soles: Look for shoes with sturdy, shock-absorbing soles that provide good traction to minimize slipping and falling.

4. Manage Blood Sugar Levels

Elevated blood sugar levels can spur nerve damage in the feet, diminishing sensation and increasing the risk of injury. Here are some tips for effectively managing your blood sugar and diabetes wound care:

  • Follow your doctor’s medication plan: Take your diabetes medication as prescribed by your doctor.
  • Maintain a healthy diet: Consume a well-rounded diet rich in fruits, green and leafy vegetables, and whole grains while limiting processed foods, sugary beverages, and unhealthy fats.
  • Exercise regularly: Strive for 30 minutes worth of moderate-intensity physical activity most days to help regulate blood sugar levels.

5. Schedule Regular Foot Exams

Take your time with a problem before seeking professional help. Schedule regular checkups with your doctor or a podiatrist on diabetic foot care. During these visits, they will:

  • Examine your feet thoroughly: Your doctor will check for any signs of nerve damage, poor blood circulation, or potential diabetic wounds.
  • Discuss your self-care routine: Your doctor can provide guidance and answer any questions about caring for your diabetic feet.
  • Recommend appropriate treatment: If any issues are identified, your foot doctor can recommend the best treatment to address them.

Taking charge of your foot care can make a big difference! Early checks and prompt action are crucial to stopping diabetic foot ulcers before they start and avoiding serious problems.

By following these tips and staying connected with your healthcare team, you can significantly lower your risk of getting diabetic foot wounds. You can also keep your feet healthy for years.

Additional Tips

Consider the following additional tips to deal with foot wounds at home.

  • Avoid smoking: Smoking narrows blood vessels and restricts blood flow, hindering healing and increasing infection risk.
  • Manage stress: Feeling overwhelmed? Take charge! Chronically high stress can make it harder to manage your blood sugar. Try simple techniques like yoga, meditation, or deep breathing to stay relaxed. These powerful tools can keep you centered and your blood sugar in check.
  • Wear socks always: Choose socks made from 100% cotton or wool, which are breathable and comfortable. Avoid tight-fitting socks that could restrict diabetic wound healing and circulation.
  • Keep your feet warm at night: Especially in colder weather, ensure your feet stay comfortably warm at night. It can improve circulation and prevent skin dryness, leading to cracks. Use warm (not hot) socks or blankets specifically for your feet while sleeping.
  • Elevate your feet when resting: Give your feet a lift! Throughout the day, prop your feet higher than your heart. It helps reduce swelling and keeps blood flowing smoothly.
  • Inspect your shoes regularly: Before putting on your shoes, check the insides for any tears, sharp objects, or debris that could irritate your feet.

diabetic wound

Get Help from the Best

Living with this condition can be worrying, but you don’t have to face it alone. We offer comprehensive diabetic wound care services and personalized treatment plans.

Foot Ankle Centers has a team of specialists dedicated to helping diabetic patients achieve optimal foot health.

Contact us and take the first step towards healing and preventing future complications.