How Diabetics Should Wash Their Feet

As a diabetic, you've probably been warned, by your doctor or a podiatrist, to take good care of your feet. Even small wounds can be hard to heal and can become infected easily. Signs of poor circulation need to be quickly recognized and reported to your doctor. You might have your feet examined every few months, wear padded shoes, or wear a specific kind of socks. But what about washing your feet? It's really important to keep your feet clean as a diabetic, but how do you go about washing them in the safest, most effective way? Here are some tips.

1. Look over your feet first.

Always check over your feet for sores and blisters before you wash them. Small wounds can be harder to see if your skin swells after being in water. If you do spot these, call your doctor. You can then go ahead with washing your feet, but you'll want to be careful to treat the sores or blisters afterward according to your doctor's instructions. 

2. Use lukewarm water.

As a diabetic, your feet may lack sensitivity. Hot water could burn your skin and cause damage but you may not even realize it due to dulled nerve sensation. So, check the temperature of your wash water with your hands before washing your feet. Use water that is gently warm to the touch, but not hot.

3. Wash between your toes.

When you are washing your feet, use a gentle soap, and make sure you individually wash between every toe. You can push a soft washcloth between your toes or just use your fingers and some soap. Bacterial and fungal infections often start between the toes, and failing to clean these areas well can also increase your risk of calluses and blisters.

4. Towel dry your feet afterward.

You do not want your feet to remain moist after you wash them, as this could make fungal infections and blisters more likely. Make sure you use a soft towel to dry your feet and reach between all of your toes as you do so. Let your feet breathe and air dry for a few minutes before putting your socks back on.

If you follow the tips above when you wash your feet, you'll be doing the very best for them, which should help you avoid common diabetic foot problems. Talk to a podiatrist, at an office like Marlboro Podiatry Center Inc, for additional tips and advice.