Modern Medicine

Diabetic Foot Care: Essential Tips for Maintaining Healthy Feet

by | Nov 23, 2023

Our feet are often the unsung heroes of our bodies, carrying us through life’s ups and downs. For those living with diabetes, proper foot care takes on even greater importance. Diabetic foot care is not merely a matter of comfort but a critical aspect of maintaining overall health and preventing serious complications.

Today, understanding the risks, practising good hygiene, and seeking regular medical attention are all key components of diabetic foot care that can make a significant difference in your life.

Diabetes and Foot Health

Diabetes is a chronic condition that affects how your body processes glucose, leading to elevated blood sugar levels. Over time, this can lead to various complications, one of which is diabetic neuropathy. Diabetic neuropathy is nerve damage that often affects the feet and legs, resulting in reduced sensitivity and an increased risk of injury. 

Another complication is poor circulation, where blood flow to the feet is compromised, making it challenging for wounds to heal. These two factors, reduced sensation and poor circulation, can create a perfect storm for foot-related problems in diabetic individuals.

Risk Factors

Understanding the risk factors for diabetic foot complications is crucial. The more aware you are of these risks, the better you can take preventive measures. Here are some common risk factors:

  • Poor Blood Sugar Control: Maintaining optimal blood sugar levels is the foundation of diabetic foot care. High blood sugar can damage blood vessels and nerves, increasing the risk of foot issues.
  • Neuropathy: Diabetic neuropathy reduces your ability to feel sensations in your feet, such as pain or temperature changes, making it easier to overlook injuries.
  • Poor Circulation: Reduced blood flow to the feet impairs the body’s natural healing processes, increasing the risk of infection and slowing wound healing.
  • Foot Deformities: Bunions, hammertoes, and other foot deformities can cause pressure points and ulcers in diabetic individuals.
  • Foot Ulcers: Even small cuts or blisters can develop into severe ulcers if not properly managed.
  • Infections: Diabetes weakens the immune system, making it more challenging to fight off infections that can occur from untreated wounds.
  • Smoking and Alcohol Use: Both smoking and excessive alcohol consumption can exacerbate circulation problems and slow the healing process.

Essential Tips for Diabetic Foot Care

  • Daily Foot Inspection: One of the simplest ways to prevent complications is to inspect your feet daily. Check for cuts, blisters, redness, swelling, or any other unusual changes. If you have trouble seeing the soles of your feet, use a mirror or ask for assistance.
  • Proper Footwear: Choosing the right footwear is paramount. Opt for comfortable, well-fitting shoes that provide ample support and cushioning. Avoid tight shoes and high heels, as they can cause pressure points and discomfort.
  • Regular Foot Washing: Wash your feet daily with warm, not hot, water. Avoid soaking for extended periods, as this can dry out the skin. Gently dry your feet, especially between the toes, to prevent fungal infections.
  • Moisturise, but Not Between Toes: Keeping your skin moisturised helps prevent dryness and cracking, which can lead to infections. However, avoid applying moisturiser between the toes, as this can create a breeding ground for fungal growth.
  • Trim Nails Carefully: Trim your toenails straight across and avoid cutting too close to the skin. Ingrown toenails are common in diabetic individuals and can lead to infections.
  • Protect Your Feet: Wear shoes or slippers at all times, even indoors, to protect your feet from injuries. Avoid walking barefoot, as you may step on sharp objects or sustain minor injuries without noticing.
  • Avoid Extreme Temperatures: Extreme temperatures can be harmful to your feet. Protect them from both hot and cold surfaces to prevent burns or frostbite.
  • Manage Blood Sugar Levels: Work closely with your healthcare team to keep your blood sugar levels within the recommended range. This is essential for preventing diabetic neuropathy and other complications.
  • Regular Check-ups: Schedule regular foot check-ups with a healthcare provider experienced in diabetic foot care. They can identify potential issues early and provide guidance on proper foot care.
  • Immediate Attention to Injuries: If you notice any foot injuries or signs of infection, seek medical attention promptly. Delaying treatment can lead to more severe complications.

Manage How Diabetes Affects Your Foot Health

Your feet are a vital part of your overall health and well-being, and for those living with diabetes, taking care of them is even more crucial. By understanding the risks, practising good hygiene, and seeking regular medical attention, you can significantly reduce the likelihood of foot-related complications. Remember, prevention is key.

If you’re struggling with diabetes or its complications, don’t hesitate to speak to our Ballarat podiatry team at Modern Medicine. We can assist you on your journey towards maintaining healthy feet and a healthier you. 



Sam Balson Modern Medicine

Sam Balson


Sam Balson, Clinical Myotherapist and Director at Modern Medicine, combines his ballet background with expertise in injury rehab and pain management. His dance injuries fuel his passion for helping others achieve pain-free lives.

Sam’s multidisciplinary approach at Modern Medicine prioritises exceptional care and strong client relationships, setting new standards in healthcare.

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