Your 2018 Foot Check Daily Checklist
Do you have diabetes? Poor circulation? Neuropathy? If you said yes to any of those conditions, then the daily foot check needs to be part of your routine—even if you’ve never had foot problems in the past. It won’t take you long—just a couple of minutes, once or twice a day. That’s all it takes. And it will easily be the difference between maintaining an active lifestyle well into old age, or losing a toe (or foot, or lower leg) to wounds, gangrene, or amputation.
Here’s a helpful daily checklist:
- Examine your feet when they’re clean and dry, after a daily shower or foot bath.
- Go into a well-lit room so you can see clearly.
- Make sure you can see every part of your foot—tops, both sides, underneath, and even between toes. Sitting up on a bed or comfy chair can help. If poor eyesight or flexibility prevent you from making a complete inspection, use a mirror (or bring a friend who can help).
- Perform a complete visual inspection of your feet. Scan for anything out of the ordinary—bumps, redness, swelling, corns, calluses, blisters, warts, discolored toenails, etc.
- Feel your feet with your hands—sometimes this reveals a problem you didn’t pick up with just your eyes. This can include irregular textures, bumps, spots where skin is warmer or colder than the surrounding area, dry skin, etc. Consider using a foot thermometer for this part of the process.
- Take special notice of the toes, spaces between the toes, and toenails. Thick, flaky, or discolored toenails could mean a fungal infection. Puffiness and redness around the nail edges or corners could indicate ingrown nails.
- Squeeze the “balls” of your toes gently and see how long it takes normal color to return. A five-second delay (or longer) is a potential sign of poor circulation.
- Record any potential problems you see in a journal. Maybe even take a few pictures. This will help you remember when problems started and track whether they get better or worse.
- Call your doctor if you notice any problems that get worse or do not improve within a few days.
One more thing—if you have diabetes, you should stop in at least once per year (more often in some circumstances) for a complete diabetic foot check-up. If you don’t have one on your calendar yet for 2018, be sure to get that in! You can give us a call at (866) 222-5177 to get started, or request an appointment online.