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Parkland steps up diabetic foot care with launch of Happy ‘Healthy Feet’ initiative

7/22/2019, 10:10 p.m.
Diabetes makes the feet vulnerable to foot problems that can develop into infections leading to amputation and disability. More than ...
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LaFontaine provided the following tips for patients with diabetes to help maintain foot health and avoid complications:

• Manage your diabetes. Work closely with your health care provider to keep your blood glucose in target range.

• Check your feet daily. Examine your bare feet for cuts, blisters, sores and swelling. Use a mirror to check the bottoms of your feet, or ask someone else to help.

• Wash your feet daily and dry them carefully, especially between the toes.

• Moisturize your skin daily, rubbing a thin coat of lotion on the tops and bottoms of your feet, but not between the toes where moisture can lead to the development of fungus.

• Wear appropriate foot-wear that protects your feet and fits properly; ask your physician if you qualify for Medicare coverage for special shoes.

• Stay active. Develop an exercise and activity schedule with your health care provider to promote fitness and a healthy weight.

• Keep toenails trimmed. Cut your toenails straight across and file edges smooth with an emery board. Get professional help if you’re not able to do this yourself.

• Protect your feet by wearing shoes and socks. Never walk barefoot. Wear 100% cotton white socks that are breathable and will show blood stains if you have a wound.

• Protect your feet from temperature extremes. Test water with your elbow before putting your feet in bathtub. To prevent burning your feet without realizing it, never use heating pads, space heaters, electric blankets or hot water bottles.

• Improve circulation. Elevate your feet whenever possible when sitting. Avoid crossing your legs for long periods and wiggle your toes and ankles several times a day.

• Don’t smoke. Smoking is bad for circulation and is a risk factor for many serious conditions, including cancer, heart disease, diabetes and stroke.

To learn more about foot health and diabetes, visit www.diabetes.org.