Why Should Diabetics Care about Their Feet?
People with diabetes are more susceptible to foot problems due to two primary factors: poor circulation and nerve damage (neuropathy).
Diabetes can also impair circulation, particularly in the extremities. Poor blood flow to the feet can result in slow healing of wounds, increased risk of infections, and a higher likelihood of complications. Reduced circulation can further exacerbate the impact of other foot conditions and delay healing processes.
Diabetic neuropathy is a condition in which high blood sugar levels cause nerve damage over time. It often affects the feet, leading to loss of sensation, tingling, or burning sensations. Numbness can make it challenging to detect injuries or ulcers, which may worsen if left untreated.
Complications like heel fissures and diabetic ulcers can rapidly develop from even small injuries, since you may not be able to feel the progression of pain. Injuries grow worse and worse until they require serious attention.
What You Can Do for Your Diabetic Foot Care
Do not worry. Good diabetic foot care can keep you from the most serious conditions. Any cuts, sores, wounds, cracks, or swelling may require treatment from an expert at Premier Podiatry & Orthopedics. It is better to get help for something small rather than let something get out of control.
is better to get help for something small rather than let something get out of control.
The worst thing you can do is let the problem fester. If you neglect to check your feet or do not have them checked out by a doctor, you could develop an ulcer that eats away at the tissue and bone in your foot. The severity of these wounds can quickly escalate, leaving no choice but to amputate a part of your toe, foot, or leg.
By adopting these proactive measures, you can significantly reduce the risk of diabetic foot complications and maintain optimal foot health:
- Inspect Your Feet Daily: The first rule is to inspect your feet daily. If you cannot see the bottom of your feet, use a mirror or have someone else check for you. Even a selfie stick will work well. Carefully examine your feet for any redness, blisters, cuts, sores, or changes in skin color or temperature.
- Wash Your Feet Daily: Use warm water and mild soap to gently clean your feet, ensuring thorough drying, especially between the toes, to prevent moisture-related infections. You can also use a pumice stone to scrub away calluses will keep your feet soft and supple and prevent cracked heels. To seal in extra moisture, put on lotion right after you get out of the bath.
- Trim Nails Carefully: Trim your toenails straight across and file the edges gently to avoid ingrown toenails or cuts. You will want to exercise extreme caution when clipping your nails. If your toenails are too thick or brittle, we can help with nail trimming in our offices.
- Avoid Going Barefoot: When your feet are bare, you risk stepping on a nail, glass, or anything else that might puncture your sole. You could also get a splinter, which is difficult to remove. Protect your feet from potential injuries by always wearing shoes or slippers, even indoors.
- Do Not Use Nail Clippers for Calluses, Warts, or Corns: Leave the removal of these foot conditions to our podiatrists to avoid complications. If you have a problem that would require you to use an over-the-counter wart remover or corn cream, visit our offices, where we can give you advice and products you can trust.
- Wear Proper Fitting Shoes: Choose footwear that provides adequate support, cushioning, and protection. Avoid tight or pointed shoes that may cause friction or pressure points. High heels and narrow shoes will only crowd your toes and worsen small problems. If you need custom orthotics, we can prescribe a pair that fits your exact needs.
If you encounter any foot-related issues or experience changes in sensation, pain, or wounds that are not healing, do not delay seeking professional help. Our team at Premier Podiatry & Orthopedics is equipped with the expertise and resources to address diabetic foot concerns promptly and effectively.