Toenails should be cut to the shape of the end of the toes and no shorter. Never cut down the sides. Afterwards, use a file on any sharp corners or rough edges. You may find that they are easier to cut after a bath. If you find them difficult, consult your Chiropodist.
Wash your feet daily with mild soap and tepid water but do not soak them. Never use epsom salts or washing soda in a footbath. Dry them carefully, especially between the toes, which is where germs such as Athlete’s Foot can easily breed. Use a soft towel and a gentle “blotting” action. If your skin is dry, sparingly apply a good quality non-medicated moisturising cream. If you use talcum powder, choose a non-medicated one such as baby powder. Apply it in the morning and wash off at night as it can encourage growth of germs if left for too long. If the skin between the toes becomes moist, apply surgical spirit at night.
Get into the habit of examining your feet daily for any cuts, cracks abrasions, corns or hard skin, any of which can lead to infection. If any of these are present, bathe with a mild antiseptic, apply a sterile dressing and see your chiropodist, doctor or hospital diabetic department without delay.
Corns and Callouses
These are thickening of the skin, caused by pressure and rubbing from footwear and are a source of infection which may go undetected because of the hard skin covering, especially in those cases where nerve damage is present, as the pain may not be felt. It is essential that they are properly treated as soon as possible, otherwise serious damage can occur.
Shoes that fit well can help prevent many foot problems. Ill-fitting shoes cause corns, callouses, ulcers and nail problems.Choose footwear with:
Soft leather uppers without seams, that will mould to your feet and let them ‘breathe’.
Wide toe caps with depth, that will allow room for your toes to wiggle.
Soft insoles and linings with no wrinkles or seams.
Every time you put your shoes on, check that there are no pieces of grit or other objects in them.
Avoid stockings, tights or socks that are too tight as they may restrict the circulation, but also avoid hosiery that is too loose as this can wrinkle and irritate the skin. Do not wear elastic garters as they may seriously restrict the circulation.