“You should look for changes in color, swelling of the feet or any type of break or irritation of the skin,” said Mercy Medical Center’s Medical Director of the Center for Hyperbaric Medicine & Wound Healing and Co-Director of St. Joseph Hospital’s Center for Hyperbaric Medicine & Wound Healing John Jackalone, DPM. “You shouldn’t disregard something only to later discover you should've paid closer attention to it.”
Also, shoe fit and type are crucial for anyone with diabetes or other risk factors. Be careful to evaluate your shoes carefully. Use a new pair for a short trial period at home before wearing them for an entire day. Take your shoes off after an hour to examine your feet. If you have no irritation or red spots, it should be safe to wear them for a longer period of time.
Don’t be afraid to take a break from dancing at your nephew’s wedding to sneak off and check your feet. Bring an extra pair of comfortable shoes, just in case you see any areas of concern.
To help you take better care of your feet, CHS offers the following tips:
- Check your feet daily. Look for blisters, cuts or scratches. Use a long-handled mirror or place a mirror on the floor to see the bottom of your feet. Always check between your toes.
- Keep your feet clean. Wash daily, dry carefully—especially between your toes.
- Moisturize your feet. Apply a moisturizer as recommended by your physician, but never apply it between your toes, as that can lead to a fungal infection.
- Do not walk barefoot. This includes on sandy beaches and in pool/patio areas.
- Wear properly fitted shoes. Shoes should be comfortable when purchased. Do not wear narrow, pointed toe or high-heeled shoes.
- Inspect the inside of your shoes daily. Check for foreign objects, tears or rough areas on the inside of the shoe.
- Do not wear shoes without socks or stockings. Wear clean, properly fitted socks. Cotton or cotton blend socks are recommended.
- Avoid temperature extremes. Test water temperature with your hand or elbow prior to bathing. Do not soak your feet in hot water or apply a hot water bottle. If your feet feel cold at night, wear socks.
- Trim your toenails regularly. Always cut your nails straight across.
- Do not use over-the-counter remedies for corns. See a podiatrist to have these evaluated.
- Avoid crossing your legs. This can cause pressure on the nerves and blood vessels, resulting in less blood flow to your feet.
To find a physician, visit www.chsli.org.