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6 useful ways to pamper your feet

Dr. Akin-Onitolo A.

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A significant number of people lose their feet every year because of diabetic foot ulcers requiring amputation. This is something major that many Diabetics tend to avoid or simply never hear about. Caring for your feet is extremely important, and beyond that, not developing Diabetes in the first place is better. But it doesn’t matter if your doctor has confirmed that you have Diabetes, following the tips outlined will help you prevent messy foot ulcers and unbearable pain.

Foot Care Tips

  1. Ensure your sugar level is always well controlled. This will protect your feet from losing their blood supply or sensation. It is not only your feet that are protected, your brain, heart, kidneys, sexual organs, and eyes are also protected from Diabetes’ deadly complications
  2. Inspect your feet daily. You may need a mirror to look at the undersides for swellings, redness, injures, and calluses (hardened skin especially on the foot or hand caused by repeated use). Also check for the pulse at the top of your foot, best felt a short distance from where the leg joins the foot, its absence means you must see your healthcare provider ASAP
  3. Wear comfortable shoes every time. Shoes made with soft material, with cushioning insoles are preferred, they must not be tight
  4. Don’t walk barefoot at home or outside and avoid hitting your foot against stones or objects so that you do not sustain injuries. Diabetes slows the body’s normal healing process which is why wounds that have no issues in ordinary people can take months to heal when you have Diabetes
  5. Avoid using razors or other sharp object to trim your nails, use a nailcutter instead and always do so with extra caution
  6. Regular visits to a chiropodist (specialist in foot care) is advised so that calluses can be skillfully removed without undue consequences. If left unattended or mishandled, a callus can harbour bleeding, develop an ulcer and superadded infection

Besides ulcers, foot pain may also be a sign of clogged arteries in your leg. See your healthcare provider as soon as you notice any injury on your foot, or discover that you do not feel sensations as before, or you experience pain and swelling. Treatment with antibiotics, special shoes, surgery to clean the wound, and insulin to improve healing are available but only effective if used early. You don’t want to wait until it is too late to save your foot.

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Dr. Akin-onitolo A. is a graduate of the University of Lagos whose mission is to achieve the sustainable development goals (SDGs) using health promotion and improved health literacy. She is an MDCN (Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria) certified doctor who had her elective at King's College London. Hugely interested in travel, meeting people and generally being creative, reading and writing fiction are a few hobbies you could find her engaged in during her spare time. Catch up with her on Twitter @Akinonitolo and Instagram @t_onitolo