We hear far too often from people ranging from professional athletes to those plagued with recurring diabetic foot problems, that regular foot exams aren’t a part of their daily lives. While brushing our teeth and cleaning our ears are already a part of our daily rituals – the painful truth is that foot care is far more important to our health. Our feet are the link between here and anywhere we want to travel.
Take a minute out of every day to give yourself a foot exam…
SKIN: Examine your feet for signs of skin trauma (ranging from cuts to more severe open wounds) or infection. You may not notice anything is wrong until you look. This is especially true for people suffering from neuropathy, or “insensate” skin. Lightly smooth calluses, caused by repetitive friction between your skin & footwear, with a foot file. Treat any cuts or wounds by cleaning & covering the area.
NAILS: Examine your toenails for infection, ingrown toenails or evidence of injury to the nail bed from cutting toe nails improperly. Nails that are too long can get caught in the sock fibers or even jam against the front of your shoe. Nails that are too short may grow into the side of the nail, causing terrible pain. I find the best technique is to file toe nails straight across. Nail clippers may cause more trouble than they’re worth.
BONES: Look for prominent bones and other foot deformities that may require the use of custom or modified footwear to ensure optimal pressure & shear offloading.
FOOTWEAR: Painful rubbing, which leads to blisters and other skin trauma, can often be attributed to ill-fitting footwear. “Good fitting” shoes go a long way to preventing foot injury. Rubbing can also be managed with a low-friction product that provides a smooth surface for the skin to glide against the shoe. During your next shoe purchase, let the salesperson measure your feet and suggest the correct shoe for your activity level.
People managing diabetes are especially prone to skin trauma and infection, and should regularly consult their physician to learn about preventative foot care techniques. For more information about friction management products, visit www.ShearBan.com.