What are common causes of foot injury?
Most causes of foot injury can be avoided if you ALWAYS wear shoes or slippers with sturdy soles! NEVER go barefoot. Not even in your home! Remember that you may not be able to feel an injury. An injury can cause an infection and that can eventually cause an amputation. Keep your feet by taking care of them!
If you have diabetes and you have trouble feeling sensations in your feet, you could get a splinter in your foot and not know it. Splinters are commonly gotten from walking on bare wooden floors. A splinter stuck in your foot can quickly become infected, and that infection can become a wound that will need medical attention to heal. If that wound does not heal, you could end up with an amputation, all from a tiny piece of wood! Make sure you wear shoes or footwear with a sturdy bottom at all times!
Shoes that don't fit properly
Be sure to wear shoes that fit properly. If they are too tight or too loose, you can get a blister on your feet or cause other damage. Shoes should not squeeze your feet or toes. Before putting your shoes on, feel inside with your hand for any sharp edges. Click on "Taking care of your feet" on the menu above for more information on shoes!
Be extremely careful about cleaning up any broken glass. A tiny sliver of clear glass is very hard to see, but it can do a lot of damage to your foot.
Thumbtacks, nails, screws, staples, pins and pushpins
These metal objects can cause a lot of damage if you step on them. And if you never feel the injury and treat it, you could get an infection. Even if you do feel the injury, you are at greater risk for an infection and a wound that will not heal, simply because you are a diabetic.
Heating pads, hot water bottles, electric blankets
Never use a heating pad, hot water bottle or electric blanket on your feet! You could get a nasty burn, especially if you have reduced sensation in your feet.
Before you put your feet into a bathtub or basin, check the temperature of the water first. You can test it with a drop of water on your inner wrist or elbow, or by touching the back of your hand briefly to the water. If it feels too hot, wait! You can get a severe burn by putting your feet in water that is too hot!
Cold weather and ice
If you must go out in cold weather, be sure to wear insulated boots or shoes that will keep your feet warm. And never leave ice on your feet for long periods of time. You can get frostbite and not even know it, and frostbite can lead to amputation!
Rocks, pebbles and kitty litter
Rocks and pebbles
Rocks and pebbles can have sharp edges that can cut your feet. They are so hard, they can cause trauma to your foot's internal tissues if you step on them. And believe it or not, a piece of kitty litter can be painful and damaging if you step directly on it. Never walk barefoot outside or inside!
Improperly trimmed toenails can leave sharp edges that can hurt your feet. See the page on footcare, available by clicking on the menu to the left, for instructions for clipping your your toenails. If in doubt and especially if you have diabetic neuropathy, have your podiatrist or another healthcare provider perform toenail clipping.
Warts, corns and calluses
If you get a wart, corn or a callus, do not try to treat it yourself. And definitely don't put any chemicals on your feet or try to shave off the wart, corn or callus. Be safe - see your healthcare practitioner to have the problem taken care of.
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