Diabetic Foot Care
Posted onMay 13th, 2015
Nerve damage and poor circulation stemming from diabetes can both contribute to major foot problems. Nerve damage can cause dry and cracked skin allowing bacteria to enter and cause infection, and poor circulation can cause a small blister to quickly become serious. While some of these issues may have an easy fix, others may require hospitalization or even amputation of a toe or foot.
Those with diabetes should pay extra attention to the health of feet. Doing the following can help detect, and therefore treat, an issue before it becomes severe.
- Never walk barefoot: Nerve damage as a result of diabetes will decrease sensation on the bottom of your feet; you could be walking on sharp objects and not even notice if they get stuck in your foot, leading to infection.
- Trim toenails straight across: Use a nail file or emery board and avoid cutting the corners of the nails. See your podiatrist right away if you notice an ingrown nail.
- Wash feet every day: Use mild soap and warm water to gently wash, but do not soak! Pat both feet dry with a towel rather than rubbing.
- Moisturize: Keep skin soft and prevent dry skin cracks with lotion. Don’t use lotion between your toes.
- Inspect your feet regularly: Check for bruises, redness, blisters, swelling, scratches and puncture wounds.
- Wear the right footwear: Measure feet every time you try on new shoes. Shoes should fit in width, length, back, bottom of heel and sole. Avoid open-toed shoes and high heels.
- Consider orthotics: Many insurance companies cover the cost of orthotics for people with diabetes. These inserts provide support and stability for all types of movement, and can be easily transferred from shoe to shoe when necessary. Ask your podiatrist for more information.
If you are diabetic, you should be seeing a podiatrist every two to three months. Contact us today to ensure your feet are at optimal health.
Courtesy of OrthoInfo