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Tips to Protect Your Feet

Someone loses a lower limb as a result of diabetes every 30 seconds. Diabetes and wounds are a dangerous combination. If you have diabetes, there's no such thing as a minor wound to the foot -- even a small foot sore can turn into an ulcer that, if not properly treated, can lead to amputation. Most of these amputations could easily be prevented appropriate foot care and wound treatment. Here are some suggestions to prevent foot sores in order to prevent an amputation.

Examine your feet every single day, and wash them with mild soap and water. Make it part of your daily routine, just like brushing your teeth. 

Dry your feet well. Moisture retained between the toes can cause skin breakdowns.  

Be cautious in nail salons. Avoiding salons altogether is the safest option. If you must visit a nail salon, please ensure that the salon's certification is current and visible, and ask when the salon was last inspected by the state. Before treatment, watch to see that the tools are properly sanitized. They should be freshly unwrapped or have just been removed from heat or chemical sterilization. If you are using a foot spa, find out whether it has been cleaned and disinfected.

Moisturize your feet with regular applications of foot cream. You don't need a special cream -- any moisturizer available at your drugstore, like Aquaphor, Cetaphil, and Eucerin, will work. Use an antifungal cream if you have evidence of athlete's foot (tinea pedis) or other fungal infection. Athlete's foot can make the skin crack and peel, which increases your risk for an infection. Be on the lookout for fungal nail infections, too (nails will look and feel harder, darker, and thicker).

Avoid fancy footwear. This means no tight socks and most certainly, no pointy shoes with high heels. Footwear is one of the biggest risks to a diabetic’s safety. Please remember that while these shoes may not be the most stylish shoes available, they will likely save your limb.