Living with diabetes presents unique challenges, and one crucial aspect that demands special attention is foot care. Diabetes can adversely affect various parts of the body, particularly the feet, leading to increased susceptibility to foot problems due to factors such as reduced blood flow and nerve damage. This combination of factors can make it challenging for individuals with diabetes to detect injuries, infections, or complications in their feet. To mitigate these risks, it is essential for individuals with diabetes to maintain a vigilant foot care routine, including daily foot inspections, proper nail care, moisturization, wearing appropriate footwear, and regular visits to a podiatrist or foot specialist. By prioritizing foot health and seeking professional guidance, individuals with diabetes can reduce the likelihood of serious foot-related complications.
In Exclusive HT Lifestyle Interview, Dr. Rajiv Kovil, Chairperson of Zandra Healthcare and Co-Founder of Rang De Neela, Reveals, “Poor blood circulation is a significant concern for those with type 2 diabetes, as it can lead to an increased risk of amputation. People may experience pain while walking, as well as tingling or a decrease in sensation in their feet. Individuals with type 2 diabetes also face a higher risk of foot infections, ulcers, and delayed wound healing. Nerve damage, known as neuropathy, is a major issue that further elevates the likelihood of amputation.”
Pedicures: Proceed with caution
While many women with diabetes may consider pedicures a part of their foot care routine, it’s important to heed Dr. Kovil’s advice against getting pedicures at beauty salons. Diabetes can lead to reduced sensation in the feet and impaired blood circulation, making individuals more vulnerable to injuries and infections during salon pedicures. Dr. Kovil suggests a safer alternative: consulting a podiatrist or orthotist who specializes in foot care. These professionals can provide a tailored and medically informed foot care regime, ensuring that any issues related to diabetes, such as neuropathy and circulation problems, are addressed appropriately. Prioritizing the guidance of specialists in diabetic foot care can help individuals manage their condition effectively and reduce the risk of foot-related complications.
Dr Rajiv Kovil described, “The rationale behind this caution lies in the fact that people with diabetes, particularly those with poorly controlled blood sugar levels, are prone to foot problems such as decreased circulation and nerve damage. These conditions diminish the feet’s ability to fight infections and impair the ability to sense injuries. During pedicures, even minor cuts and nicks on the skin can increase the risk of infection. Furthermore, hygiene at the salon is crucial, especially for individuals with diabetes.”
He declared, “Foot baths should be meticulously cleaned and disinfected between customers and clippers and other tools should be thoroughly washed and sanitized using disinfecting solutions or surgical autoclaves, which employ pressurized steam to sterilize instruments. Nail trimming should be done carefully, avoiding overly short nails that can lead to ingrown toenails and infection. Toenail edges should be rounded off with a file instead of being left sharp. Finally, it is important to note that painting toenails to conceal fungal infections should be strictly avoided.”
Lower limb massages: Seek expert guidance-
Dr Rajiv Kovil stated, “Similar caution should be exercised when considering lower limb massages at spas and wellness centers. Individuals with diabetes should avoid these services and consult with a podiatrist or orthotist instead. “Proper blood glucose control, regular exercise, healthy nutrition, the use of diabetic socks, and quitting tobacco can help improve lower limb blood circulation. If one still desires a lower limb massage, seeking professional advice is essential to ensure the safety and effectiveness of the treatment.”
Recognising the signs of poor blood circulation in individuals with diabetes:
Dr. Rajiv Kovil Emphasizes Early Recognition of Compromised Blood Circulation Symptoms to Prevent Severe Complications, Including Amputation, “Keep an eye out for the following Look out for the following indicators: pain in the calf while walking, brittle nails, cold feet, dry or cracked skin (especially on the feet), hair loss on the feet, skin discoloration, slow-healing wounds and tingling or numbness in the feet.”
He concluded, “Remaining vigilant and promptly addressing any concerns allows individuals with diabetes to provide the necessary care for their feet, mitigating the risk of devastating consequences. Remember, when it comes to foot care, it is crucial to prioritize expert guidance and personalised treatments rather than opting for general beauty services. Your feet deserve the utmost attention and care, especially if you are living with diabetes.”
The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as a health advice. We would ask you to consult a qualified professional or medical expert to gain additional knowledge before you choose to consume any product or perform any exercise.