It’s good for everyone to protect their feet and take good care of them – but it’s absolutely essential if you have diabetes.
Complications from diabetes like poor blood circulation and nerve damage (neuropathy) make your feet vulnerable to skin sores that can quickly worsen to dangerous ulcers. Ulcers are difficult to treat and, if not caught quickly, can cause so much damage to tissue and bone that amputation of a toe or foot may be necessary.
Although the chance of a foot ulcer is always there for a patient with diabetes, the risk of having a lower limb amputated has gone down dramatically – by more than 50% – over the last 20 years because of better diabetes care.
Healthy Foot Care for Those with Diabetes
- Check your feet every day. Look for any damage such as a blister, skin crack, sore, tenderness or swelling. Use a mirror to check the soles too.
- Clean your feet daily in warm water and a mild soap. Dry thoroughly especially between the toes. Use powder to keep your toes dry.
- Smooth on a rich foot cream to keep skin supple and moisturized.
- Don’t attempt to remove a callus, corn, wart or bunion by yourself and avoid chemical wart removers. Only a foot doctor should assist with these skin problems.
- Trim toenails straight across to avoid an ingrown toenail. Ask for help if you can’t do this by yourself.
- Protect your feet with well-fitting, supportive shoes. Look for extra cushioning at the ball of the foot, the arch and the heel. Give your toes plenty of room. Never go barefoot as you may injure your foot without knowing it.
- Choose socks that wick moisture away from your skin with acrylic fibers, not nylon. Look for socks with loose, non-binding tops.
- Stop smoking. Smoking impairs your circulation and reduces the oxygen in the blood which can result in poor healing.
Most importantly, take any foot problem seriously. Please make an appointment to see us at Pasco-Hernando Foot & Ankle if you notice anything wrong or have any foot pain.
Individuals with diabetes should have a thorough foot examination at least once a year. We’d be happy to discuss your foot health with you and recommend the best footwear for your specific needs.
Maintaining Good Foot Health Is Important for Patients with Diabetes
Dr. Lawrence J. Kales, board certified podiatrist has extensive experience in helping those with diabetes handle their foot problems with quick, accurate diagnoses and treatments. Please come in to Pasco-Hernando Foot & Ankle for an examination – you can request an appointment via the website or call us at our Hudson office at 727 868-2128 or our Spring Hill office at 352 683-5799. Remember – it can be dangerous to let a foot problem continue if you have diabetes so call us today!