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Health Corners
Foot Care

Daily Foot Inspection

  • Examine feet thoroughly everyday. The skin must be undamaged and smooth. Use a mirror if it is difficult to see the entire foot.
  • Check the spaces between the toes. There should be no pressure marks or cracks.
  • Check the nails. There should be no redness or swelling around them.
  • Check the skin. There should be no recurrent calluses or corns. If there are blotches on the skin, they need further examination.
  • Check the heels. There should be no cracks.
  • General Cleanliness. Clean feet and nails reduce the possibility of getting a cut or wound infected. Feet should be kept clean by daily washing with warm water and soap. Avoid soaking them in water for too long. This reduces the skin’s resilience.

Nail Care

Toenails should be kept clean and short. It is easier to do this after washing the feet while the nails are still soft. Nails should be clipped straight across with scissors or clippers.

Skin care

The skin of the feet should not be allowed to get so dry that it cracks. If there is a tendency towards this, a moisturiser must be used.

Cold feet

If feet tend to grow cold, hot water must not be used to counter it. Feet must be massaged or exercised. Socks and shoes worn must not be tight. Woolen socks and blanket can be used at night.

Calluses

The presence of calluses, corns and cracks indicate that the feet are being overtaxed. The reasons for these have to be found and eliminated. Causes may be illfitting foot wear, a walking style that distributes weight unevenly on the feet or foot deformities.

Gently filing with a pumice stone or callus file may reduce thick calluses after bath.

Blisters

Never puncture blisters occurring due to overtaxing of feet or unsuitable footwear. Place a piece of sterile gauze on the blister to protect the delicate skin if it becomes punctured. If there is blood or pus in the blister a doctor should be consulted.

Footwear

Nearly half the foot problems leading to foot ulcers and their infection can be prevented if footwear that is comfortable and fits well is used.

The best type of footwear is flat slippers or shoes. If slippers are used, it is better to have straps that go over the toes. It is better not to have a grip between the big toe and the second. Insoles can be used if necessary. The surface should be smooth and even.

Even while trying the shoe or the slipper give it a good shake to check if there are no thorns, nails or other prickles on it.

Shoes should be flexible and toe box roomy. Shoes should be bought at the end of the day when feet have swelled to the maximum size.

Wear cotton or woolen socks.

Avoid walking barefoot.


The section on Foot Care has been prepared with inputs from MV Diabetes Specialities Centre


Diabetes Corner has been prepared with inputs from Novo Nordisk ltd, a pharmaceutical company that is involved in Diabetes research and specialises in diabetic care products.

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