Foot and Skin Care
Skin care and foot care have become a necessity not a luxury. Diabetics are prone to foot disease because of poor circulation in the extremities. Even the smallest blister can become life threatening without treatment.
Your primary health provider will probably recommend that you go to a Podiatrist (doctor who specializes in feet). Most health insurances including Medicare will cover routine diabetic foot care because it is so important to your overall health.
Here is an overview of foot care:
· Keep your feet dry
· Wash with mild soap every day
· If feet are dry use a lotion everywhere except between toes
· Use fresh, clean socks every day to absorb perspiration away from skin
· You should inspect your feet for breaks in skin and rashes
· If your feet are cold you could have poor circulation
· If you find hot spots you may have an infection
· Don’t go barefoot, skin sensation is decreased in diabetics and you could procure an injury and not know it
· To avoid ingrown toenails, cut your toenails straight across
· Wear comfortable, well fitting shoes made of leather. Don’t try to break in new shoes…remember those new shoe blisters? They are really a no-no. Leather helps your feet breathe.
· Go to a health care specialist in shoes. Most insurances pay for diabetic shoes including Medicare.
· When buying new shoes do so in the afternoon when your foot is larger. Walk for short periods, you may need extra padding to prevent rubbing.
· Do not work on calluses, corns, warts or ingrown nails yourself.
· Go to the doctor if…
· You have an open sore
· You have an infection in a blister or cut or around a rash
· You have a red tender toe
· If you have any kind of puncture wound
· Report any loss of sensation.
If you have skin problems a Dermatologist might be in order. Your skin could be too dry, and diabetics are prone to yeast infections.
· If you have dry skin use soaps like Dove or Keri.
· Dry well after bathing.
· Observe skin folds such as arm pits, groin area, underbelly, behind knees, under breasts, and behind ears.
· Above areas easily get fungal infections. Use talcum powder or what your doctor orders.
· Avoid hot baths and showers, decreased sensation leads to burns.
· If you have dry skin use Alpha-Keri lotion post bath.
· During the weather you may need extra moisturization to prevent chapping.
· Wear cotton underwear and avoid genital deodorant sprays
· Unless your doctor advises against it, drink lots of water
· Treat open areas of skin immediately with soap and water. Clean with peroxide. Never use any medicine unless you have discussed it with the doctor. (This is one of the things you might want to write down and have in your medicine counter.) Cover with gauze and paper tape.
· If you find pus, redness, swelling
· Ringworm , jock itch, athlete’s feet, vaginal itching
· Blisters and bumps on legs, buttocks, arms, behind ears
· Rashes or lumps near insulin injection sites
· Call your doctor if any of the above happens.
See you next time, and forget the sun tan, try the new sprays they are safer! Geri
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