Proper foot care, especially in elderly patients with Type 2 diabetes, is very important. Oftentimes, people who are less flexible or have a hard time caring for their feet may not notice sores and open wounds, which heal very slowly.
Diabetes & Your Feet
Type 2 diabetes patients are prone to foot problems because blood vessels and nerves become damaged.
Decreased blood flow to extremities and compromised nerve function can easily cause an injury to the foot to go unnoticed until an infection sets in. The death of skin and other tissue can occur. If not caught in time, a once treatable foot issue can require the amputation of the affected foot.
Foot Care Tips
These tips should be followed daily to help maintain proper foot care:
Wash and dry your feet carefully if you have Type 2 diabetes.
Washing your feet daily with a mild soap should be a daily habit. If you are in poor health, at least soak your feet daily in lukewarm water. Over the counter foot soaks are available and can be used if desired. Dry your feet carefully with a soft, clean towel. The feet should be dried thoroughly before soaks or shoes are worn.
Lukewarm water is recommended for washing and soaking your feet. Hot water, although it may feel more soothing, is harder on the skin than warmer water. Cold water actually decreases blood flow, and therefore is not recommended.
Lotions or petroleum jelly should be used daily to soften foot skin and reduce cracks. If you have corns or calluses, consult a podiatrist to have them treated. Keep toenails trimmed neatly to avoid ingrown toenails and nail irritation.
If you have Type 2 diabetes and are not able to properly care for your feet, you might consider enlisting the help of a health care provider to assist you with your care.