In January of 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared that the outbreak of Covid-19 had reached pandemic proportions. Previously, the spread of the virus had been mostly restricted to the Wuhan(China), from where it was initially reported.
Although, the origin of the coronavirus that causes Covid-19, remains a point of conjecture, we know that the disease mostly spreads from human to human through respiratory droplets, via coughing and sneezing.
As many countries around the world witness a rapid rise in infections, hospitalisation and in certain instances, death of Covid patients, questions regarding the general health and mental well-being of the population, are also an area of growing concern.
Particularly vulnerable are that subset of the general population who suffer from co-morbidities or have chronic disease. Diabetic patients fall within that cohort.
In India alone, sixty million Indians have diabetes. Diabetic foot affects a subset of diabetic patients. It can develop a propensity to develop foot ulcers, sores and lesions. This is due to the diabetic neuropathy and/or peripheral vascular disease witnessed in this illness.
Diabetic neuropathy can very quickly result in blisters, sores and ulcers that are unable to heal quickly. This can cause numbness and loss of foot sensation. A medical pedicure is highly recommended under these conditions. Daily foot checks are also advisable.
One way to prevent transmission of Covid-19 is by following rigorous practices of cleaning and hygiene as we know that disinfectants, such as soap and water destroy the virus.
Although the hands are a primary area of contact, one should extend the same precautions to cleanse the rest of the body, particularly the feet.
Maintaining good hygiene of the feet is also desirable. Wash the feet twice daily with an antibacterial cleanser, taking care to clean between the toes. One can perform the cleaning of the feet with a foot hygiene product like Hibiscrub, and anti-bacterial soap. Leave the soap on for a few minutes and then wash with water. One must dry the feet make properly. Apply surgical spirit with surgical cotton, in between the toes if necessary. Trim toenails regularly and check for cuts and sores on the soles of the feet.
Changing socks regularly and also alternately wearing two pairs of shoes – will help to keep the feet fresh.
Regular exercise is advisable during the Covid-19 pandemic to ensure good health. With access to gyms and swimming pools is limited in India, during the majority of lockdown, physical exercise has had to be practiced at home or in the neighborhood while maintaining social distancing protocols and taking precautions. One should wear proper shoes with insoles to prevent foot trauma, and help cushion and protect the feet.
The COVID-19 pandemic has been a tiring and testing time. These measures can help to prevent foot-related issues and promote care of the feet.