To protect yourself from foot injuries…
- Never walk barefoot, even around the house.
- Don’t wear sandals—the straps can irritate the side of the foot.
- Wear thick socks with soft leather shoes. Leather is a good choice because it “breathes,” molds to the feet and does not retain moisture. Laced-up shoes with cushioned soles provide the most support.In addition, pharmacies carry special “diabetic socks” that protect and cushion your feet without cutting off circulation at the ankle. These socks usually have no seams that could chafe. They also wick moisture away from feet, which reduces risk for infection and foot ulcers.
- See a podiatrist. This physician can advise you on the proper care of common foot problems, such as blisters, corns and ingrown toenails. A podiatrist can also help you find appropriate footwear—even if you have foot deformities.Ask your primary care physician or endocrinologist for a recommendation, or consult the American Podiatric Medical Association, www.apma.org.
Also: Inspect your feet every day. Otherwise, you may miss a developing infection. Look for areas of redness, blisters or open sores, particularly in the areas most prone to injury—the bottoms and bony inner and outer edges of the feet.
If you see any sign of a sore, seek prompt medical care. You should also see a doctor if you experience an infected or ingrown toenail, callus formation, bunions or other deformity, fissured (cracked) skin on your feet or you notice any change in sensation.