Most peripheral neuropathy sufferers have some sort of problem in their feet; it often begins there. It can be as little as a numbness in one or more toes, to a total loss of feeling or excruciating pain and everything inbetween. The dangers presented by having very little feeling in part or all of your foot, again seem obvious but because you are so used to walking and feeling the ground with your feet, you don't think about it any more: unfortunately you can get a shock when something goes wrong.
It's important for HIV patients to avoid infections as a general rule but even more important if you haven't noticed an injury and a wound becomes infected.
The important thing is to make a habit of inspecting your feet and treating them well. Once again, a lack of feeling can make things like trimming toenails a risky operation (I have personal experience of cutting just too much nail away and being surprised to see the blood pouring out because I didn't feel any pain!) Treat your feet gently, they've got to carry you for the rest of your life. Better still, get a friend or partner to help you, especially with a stimulating or soothing massage after cleansing. Chiropodists are too expensive anyway.
For some good tips, read this article which takes its information from webmd.com. For source, see link below
Peripheral Neuropathy & Diabetes: Tips on Foot & Skin Carehttp://www.elderoptionsoftexas.com/article_diabetes_foot_skin_care.htm
When you have peripheral neuropathy caused by diabetes, your feet and skin need extra care and attention. Very small, repetitive injuries to the feet - like those caused by poorly fitting shoes - can lead to bigger problems, says Tom Elasy, MD, director of the Diabetes Clinic at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tenn. "Calluses, blisters, sores, infections, and foot ulcers may appear on numb areas of the foot because pressure or injury goes unnoticed. This happens simply because you can't feel the problem."
Also, people with uncontrolled diabetes have a hard time fighting infections. They may also have poor circulation that can lead to problems with healing. That means a minor cut in your skin could become an ulcer or develop into a serious infection. With good foot care, you can prevent most of these problems. (For diabetes here, read HIV - ed.)
Inspect Your Feet Daily
"We recommend that patients inspect their feet on a daily basis for cuts, any signs of redness, calluses, or blisters," says Elasy. "Using a little mirror can help. Also, it's important to moisturize. But avoid getting it between the toes, because that area is already moist. So extra moisture tends to cause fungal infections."
Caring for your feet is easy. It's best to do it when you are bathing or getting ready for bed. And remember that good foot care also involves getting medical help early if a problem develops. It's very important to see your doctor for treatment right away - to prevent serious complications like infections.
Here are good everyday habits to follow:
Inspect your feet daily. Wash your feet, and then thoroughly dry them. Use a handheld mirror (like a magnifying mirror) to inspect them. Look for blisters, cuts, cracks, dry skin, redness, tenderness, or sores on the skin and on the soles of your feet.
Powder in between your toes. This helps keep that moist skin dry and helps prevent fungal infections.
Rub lotion on your feet and legs to prevent dry cracked skin. But don't put lotion between your toes because of the risk of fungal infections.
Keep your nails trimmed. Use an emery board for filing so you don't hurt your skin.
Protect your feet. Always wear shoes or slippers to protect your feet from injury. Don't use a heating pad or hot water bottle to warm your feet.
Get checkups at the doctor. On each visit, make sure your doctor inspects your feet.
Don't use corn removers or other drugstore foot treatments. These can be harmful. Let your doctor treat your foot problems.
Wear properly fitted shoes. Also, wear socks at all times to prevent injury.
It's a question of making a pleasure out of a necessity - try to take a pride in how your feet look and feel to the touch. Groom your nails so that they look healthy and clean and try out things like Arnica cream by massaging it in with smooth circular movements. You never know, you may restore both circulation and feeling in certain areas, or reduce pain and tingling. Either way, it is important to be aware of your feet in a way you never have before; it just makes sense.