Diabetes Foot Care Is in Your Hands

If your toes are tingly, cracked or sore, if your feet are numb, cold or prone to infection, you could have diabetes-related foot problems.

One study found that as many as 50 percent of people with diabetes have nerve damage to their feet, but you don't have to be one of them.

The following quick tips can help keep your feet in comfort and good health.

You have to take special care of your feet when you have diabetes.

If you take good care of your feet, you can prevent most serious problems related to diabetes.

  • Wash and Dry Your Feet Daily
  • Keep your feet clean. Use mild soaps and warm water.
  • Be Careful When Exercising to avoid wounds and cuts.
  • Walk and work out in comfortable shoes.
  • Protect Your Feet With Shoes and Socks
  • Don't wear shoes with high heels and pointed toes.
  • Change your socks daily.

  • Wear socks made from natural-fibres: cotton, wool, or a cotton-wool blend, as well as hemp, ramie or linen (flax) socks. 
  • Never wear synthetic fibres socks.  
  • Don’t wear socks with seams that might rub against your skin and cause blisters. Avoid tight socks.
  • Exercise regularly to keep your blood flow healthy.
  • Aim to move your body for at least 30 minutes a day.

Diabetic Socks

Your socks are a very important part of your day, especially if you suffer from Diabetes or any other type of leg or foot complaint.
Well-fitting, quality shoes are necessary, but you also might want to think about wearing diabetic socks. They can:

1. Improve blood flow to your feet
2. Keep your feet dry
3. Keep fungal infections off your feet
4. Provide cushion
5. All of these things help keep your feet healthy and injury-free.

There’s no one standard for what makes a diabetic sock, but the best ones have things like:

1. seams to prevent rubbing and blisters
2. Stretchy cuffs that don’t constrict blood flow
3. Moisture-wicking materials to keep your feet dry
4. Softness, with extra thickness in the heel and ball of your foot
5. A light colour to spot blood or other fluids that might signal injury or infection
6. A foot-conforming fit with no wrinkles or bunches

Don't wear stretch socks or socks made of nylon (synthetics).

Don't cross your legs or stand in one position for a long time. This can block blood flow to your feet.

Help Prevent Infections and fungus

Watch your blood sugar levels and follow your diet as your doctor directs. If you keep your blood sugar and weight under control, you may have fewer foot problems.

Don’t smoke. Smoking can narrow your blood vessels and raise your chance of getting foot problems.

Also, note any cuts, scratches, scrapes, blisters, corns, or calluses, even if they're small. Let your doctor or podiatrist know in case you need medical treatment.

When to Talk to Your Doctor

Your doctor should look at your feet during each visit. Give them a call when you notice problems such as:

  • Athlete's foot (cracking between the toes)

  • Sores or wounds on your feet called ulcers. They often develop on the balls of your feet or the bottoms of your toes.

  • Ingrown toenails

  • Increasing numbness or pain

  • Calluses, warts, or corns. Don’t try to treat them yourself with over-the-counter pads or liquids. Don’t try to cut them off your skin. Ask your podiatrist or doctor to remove them safely.

  • Redness, swelling, or drainage that could be a sign of an infection.

  • Nails that seem thicker, yellow, changed in shape, striped, or not growing the way they usually do. This could be a sign of an injury or infection.

  • Blackening of skin

  • Bunions

  • Infection

  • Hammer toes (when the middle joint of toes is permanently bent downward)

  • If your foot, ankle, or toe is swollen, red, hot to the touch, changed in shape or size, or hurts when you move it, you may have a sprain or fracture. Damage to your nerves can raise your chance of a serious condition called Charcot foot, which causes a change in the shape of the foot.

  • If you have diabetes, then it is very important to wear wide, soft and comfortable socks, not tightening your feet, so your blood flow is not restricted. 

  • If you hesitate what type of sock to choose from the many choices available, then always choose socks made from 100% and pure organic natural fibres, with coarse knitted fabric, as the fibres provide gentle massage over the swollen diabetic tissues, as well as socks being one size bigger, or just wider design of the socks, to prevent stopping your blood flow.

Having diagnose of diabetes, you should always exercise on a regular basis, as exercise prevents damage of your nerve system and specifically protects your feet from such damage.

Guide to Choosing Diabetic Socks

The desired features of diabetic socks include:

- a larger toe box so your feet don't feel confined to tight spaces
- a bit more padding under the heel and balls of the feet so it's less likely for there to be any skin irritation
-  moisture-wicking material to keep your feet dry
- no toe seam or binding to promote better circulation in feet and legs
- soft yarns and natural fibres socks for ultimate health comfort
- antimicrobial properties to fight fungus

Diabetic socks are specifically designed to target a wide range of foot-related symptoms of diabetes. This includes:

- Poor moisture control
- Discolouring of the feet as a result of infection
- Blisters or fungal infections
- Poor temperature control
- Nerve damage and loss of feeling in your feet
- Peripheral artery disease

In every case, wearing natural fibres socks is the best solution for your health and provides a lifestyle of ultimate comfort 

Published 30 August 2022