Feet are important and the fact that we are all born with two makes it doubly so. Unfortunately diabetes can affect both the feeling (sensation) and the circulation to feet. If sensation is reduced then it may be difficult to feel pain such as a new shoe rubbing, a stone in the shoe, standing on a nail or the burning from a sandy beach in a tropical country. If circulation is poor it makes the skin delicate and prone to damage leading to pain on walking, cold feet and slow healing of any wounds
For everyone with diabetes, there are a few simple “rules”
- Get to know your own feet – they are beautiful and they love to be admired everyday. Check your feet including the soles (a mirror can help)
- After washing use a moisturiser every day to prevent the skin from cracking but not too much between the toes as this encourages athletes foot!
- If something doesn’t look right, don’t delay and show your foot to your doctor or nurse – they don’t mind, honestly
- There are people out there who love looking at feet – Podiatrists. If you are having trouble with hard skin, colour change, or funny symptoms such as tingling, shooting pain, numbness or cramps then make your podiatrist aware.
Shoes that are poorly designed or fitted can cause problems including:
- Ingrowing toenails
- Athletes foot (fungal infection)
- Rams-horn nail
Some things to look for in good shoe designs are:
- Buy your shoes in the afternoon as your feet may swell a little as the day progresses
- Make sure the shoe is long, broad and deep without causing pressure
- Shoes without seams are better as this reduces the chance of rubbing.
Any particular brand of shoe?
There are many companies that make shoes. Here are a selection of ones that offer a large range and affordability.
Dr Comfort: www.simplyfeet.co.uk
Travel and Feet
Long journeys can be challenging for feet. Swelling during a long-haul flight is common and it makes sense to travel with familiar, comfortable and relaxed footwear. Move around the airplane as much as possible during the flight. When seated, exercise your feet by pointing them towards and away from yourself.
A new holiday destination is not the best place to break in new shoes – do this before you leave and think about our holiday – if you are planning longs on cobbled streets then stiletto’s might not be a good idea!!
Finally – if you have poor sensation or circulation pamper your feet on holiday by never going barefoot and checking them every day.
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