There’s a lot you can do to keep your feet healthy, including the following:
• Examine your feet daily, using a mirror to see the bottoms of your feet, if necessary. Look for swelling, redness, blisters, or cuts in the skin.
• Monitor the sensation in your feet; brush each foot with a feather or facial tissue to test its ability to feel light touch.
• Wash your feet daily in lukewarm water, never hot.
• After bathing, dry the skin between your toes thoroughly but gently.
• Trim your toenails straight across with a nail clipper.
• Choose good footwear with cushioned soles and uppers made of soft, breathable material such as leather, not plastic.
• Never walk barefoot.
• Wear socks made of fibers that let your skin “breathe,” such as cotton, wool, or, for sports, a moisture-wicking synthetic such as Coolmax. Avoid socks that are too tight.
• Buy only shoes that fit well in the store, then start wearing them gradually: one to two hours a day for the first one to two weeks.
To read more about diabetes foot care, go to the Web site of the American Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Society, www.aofas.org, and click on Patient Education, Ailments and Conditions, then Diabetic Foot.