Patients with diabetes often have reduced blood flow and even nerve damage in their feet. This makes these individuals far more likely to experience injuries or infections in their feet without realizing it. If you have diabetes, proper foot care is essential to prevent these kinds of injuries and avoid serious health complications. Keep reading to learn a few important foot care tips, and discover how a walk-in bathtub can help with your foot care routine.
Check Feet Daily
Because you’re less likely to feel or notice an injury to your feet than most people, you must check your feet every day. Look for any signs of redness, swelling, cuts, or blisters. Press on all areas of your feet to check for soreness as well. If your mobility prevents you from seeing or reaching your feet, ask for help doing this.
It’s a good idea to do this daily check as part of your bedtime routine, so you’ll be more likely to catch any injuries from the day’s activities before you go to sleep.
Wash Your Feet Daily
You can combine this care tip with the tip above. Wash your feet every day in lukewarm water; make sure you test the temperature of the water with another body part to ensure you don’t burn your feet without noticing. A walk-in tub can help with this daily task.
Even if you’re not thoroughly bathing yourself every day, the walk-in tub can provide a safe, secure seat with a built-in footwell that you can fill with warm water. You can sit comfortably as you gently scrub your feet in the tub. Additionally, walk-in baths have anti-scald technology that will prevent the water from getting excessively hot; you should still check the temperature before putting your feet in, but it’s an added layer of protection that’s worth having. When you’re done, be sure to pat your feet completely dry, especially between the toes.
Get a Pedicure
Here’s a care tip that everyone can enjoy: Get your feet and toes cared for by a professional regularly! People with diabetes can experience many benefits from a pedicure. First, having your toenails trimmed by a professional keeps them neat and clean. This is especially helpful for those with reduced mobility who may not reach their own feet well enough to trim their toenails themselves. Make sure to tell your nail specialist to trim them straight across without cutting them too short.
The lotion applied to your feet during a massage is also good for your foot health. It keeps the skin soft and supple, making it less likely to crack and become infected in dry weather. Ask your nail tech not to apply lotion between your toes, though.
Finally, the massage you get during a pedicure is excellent for improving circulation in your legs and feet. This is extremely important for healing, as well as for improving sensation in the extremities.
Massage Legs and Feet Regularly
Speaking of massaging those feet and legs, you should do it very regularly—but you probably can’t afford a pedicure every week. This is another area where a walk-in bathtub can come in handy. If you can find a tub with built-in jets stationed around the legs, you can turn them on during your baths and give your legs and feet a soothing hydromassage.
As mentioned above, this is important for improving circulation to those extremities, and if you don’t have the mobility or hand strength to massage your own feet and legs, using your walk-in tub’s jets is a much simpler option than asking someone else to do it for you!
Always Wear Comfortable Shoes
While walking barefoot in the grass or on the beach—or even around your home—might sound appealing, it’s not a good idea for people with diabetes. There are many reasons, with the first one being that you’re likely to injure your feet if you’re walking around barefoot. In addition to this, many people with diabetes need proper arch support to keep their feet in good health, and you won’t get that from walking around barefoot. Invest in comfortable shoes to wear around the house, and never go barefoot except in your shower or bath or when swimming.
According to the American Diabetes Association, 1 in 5 people with diabetes seeks hospital care for foot-related problems. But proper foot care can prevent many of these health issues common among people with diabetes, many of which can lead to amputations. Follow the tips above, and invest in the proper care for your feet—such as pedicures, good shoes, and a walk-in bathtub—to avoid serious health complications.