You know your heart needs a lot of TLC but so do your feet! After all, they are the workhorses of your body, taking an average of 5,000 steps a day. That’s 2.5 miles! Not to mention that your feet have to bear the weight of your body every step of the way. Those hard-working feet deserve a little more attention than you’re probably giving them. Here are some tips to help keep them healthy.
1 - Take care of your diabetes
- Work with your health care team to keep your blood sugar within a good range
2 - Check your feet every day
- Look at your bare feet every day for cuts, blisters, red spots, and swelling.
- Use a mirror to check the bottoms of your feet or ask a family member for help if you have trouble seeing.
3 - Wash your feet every day
- Wash your feet in warm, not hot, water every day.
- Dry your feet well. Be sure to dry between the toes
4 - Keep the skin soft and smooth
- Rub a thin coat of skin lotion over the tops and bottoms of your feet, but not between your toes.
5 - Smooth corns and calluses gently
- Use a pumice stone to smooth corns and calluses.
6 - Trim your toenails each week or when needed
- Trim your toenails straight across and file the edges with an emery board or nail file.
7 - Wear shoes and socks at all times
- Never walk barefoot.
- Wear comfortable shoes that fit well and protect your feet.
- Feel inside your shoes before putting them on each time to make sure the lining is smooth and there are no objects inside.
8 - Protect your feet from hot and cold
- Wear shoes at the beach or on hot pavement.
- Wear socks at night if your feet get cold.
9 - Keep the blood flowing to your feet
- Put your feet up when sitting.
- Wiggle your toes and move your ankles up and down for 5 minutes, 2 or 3 times a day.
- Don't cross your legs for long periods of time.
- Don't smoke.
10 - Be more active
- Plan your physical activity program with your doctor.
11 - Check with your doctor
- Have your doctor check your bare feet and find out whether you are likely to have serious foot problems. Remember that you may not feel the pain of an injury.
- Call your doctor right away if a cut, sore, blister, or bruise on your foot does not begin to heal after one day.
- Follow your doctor's advice about foot care.
12 - Get started now
- Begin taking good care of your feet today.
- Set a time every day to check your feet.
- WebMD Public Information from the U.S. National Institutes of Health
- The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases of The National Institute of Health. Publication: Foot Care Tips. July 1997. Last revised October 1999. (Online) http://www.niddk.nih.gov/health/diabetes/feet/feet2/tips.htm