During National Foot Health Awareness Month in April, the local experts at Grays Harbor Wound Healing and Hyperbaric Center, a member of the Healogics network, recommend these foot care tips:
- Don’t count on foot pain to alert you to problems. Diabetes can cause changes in the skin on the feet as well as nerve damage which can impair sensation of feeling. Visually inspect your feet and between your toes for blisters, cuts and red spots and swelling.
- Avoid crossing your legs: this can cause pressure on the nerves and blood vessels, possibly causing damage.
- Sit with your feet up to keep the blood flowing to them. Two or three times a day, wiggle your toes and move your ankles up and down for five minutes.
- To avoid blisters always wear properly fitting socks. Make sure socks are not tight below the knee.
- To prevent cracking and drying of your feet, rub the top and bottom with lotion but not between the toes.
- Don’t go barefoot. Feel inside your shoes before putting them on to make sure they don’t have tears in the lining or foreign objects.
- Shoes must be fitted well. New shoes should be worn one to two hours a day for the first few weeks.
- Cut toenails straight across and don’t trim them too short. Use an emery board to smooth corners of toenails or ingrown nails.
- Don’t pull loose pieces of skin off your feet. See a health care professional to have them removed.
- See your doctor if you experience any foot problems including if your foot changes in color, shape or just doesn’t feel right.
For more information about diabetes management and treating and preventing chronic wounds, contact Grays Harbor Wound Healing and Hyperbaric Center located at Grays Harbor Medical Center East Campus / 1006 North H Street, Aberdeen, WA or call 360-537-6300.