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Phone: 916-961-3434
McDowell Podiatry
Call Us 916-961-3434
Toll Free 888-447-0733
Fax 916-961-0540

Diabetic Foot Care: You Are What You Treat

Healthy food choicesHave you ever seen a walking doughnut? If the phrase “you are what you eat” were true, I’m sure we’d see a lot more walking doughnuts, hot dogs, candy bars, and soda pops, which would probably inspire people to eat more salads and apples—you know, healthy food. People with and without diabetes have been trying to whittle their meal-managing skills down to a science since the dawn of time. It’s certainly a dilemma if you have diabetes, but there’s another thing you should watch out for: your feet! Consider sharpening your wits in diabetic foot care. The proper attention could save you from infection, or worse, amputation. Trust us, we don’t want to see any walking foot ulcers any time soon.

Why Should Diabetics Care about Their Feet?

Diabetics are more at risk for developing foot complications because of poor circulation and nerve damage. This is most often caused by neuropathy. It’s imperative that you check your feet daily for small cuts or wounds. With a reduced blood supply, you could be looking at longer healing times, which increases the chance of infection. Complications like heel fissures and diabetic ulcers can rapidly develop with an unmonitored foot, since you can’t feel the progression of pain, either.

Daily Foot Checks Prevent Amputation

Don’t worry, these diabetic foot care tips can keep you from most serious conditions. The first rule is to inspect your feet daily. If you can’t see the bottom of your feet, use a mirror or have someone else check for you. Any cuts, sores, wounds, cracks, or swelling may require treatment from an expert at the McDowell Podiatry Group. It’s better to get help for something small rather than something out of control.

The worst thing you can do is let the problem fester. If you neglect to check your feet or to have them checked out by Dr. Brian McDowell, 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 us no choice but to amputate a part of your toe, foot, or leg.  

It’s Simple: Wash Your Feet

Wash your feet daily, too. Using a pumice stone to scrub away calluses will keep your feet soft and supple and prevent cracked heels. When you dry off, don’t forget to use a towel between your toes. To seal in extra moisture, put on lotion right after you get out of the bath.

Whatever you do, don’t try to get rid of calluses—or any type of wart, corn, or bunion—with a clippers. If you have a problem that would require you to use an over-the-counter wart remover or corn cream, visit our office, where we can give you the advice and products you can trust.

Clip Toenails Carefully

You’ll want to exercise extreme caution when clipping your nails. Trim them straight across to prevent an ingrown toenail. If your toenails are too thick or brittle, we also offer medical nail trimming in our office, where we can assist you and make sure you don’t cut yourself.

Shoes are Important

Don’t go 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. When you wear shoes, choose a pair that has enough room and cushion for your extremities. High heels and narrow shoes are only going to crowd your toes and make small problems worse. If you need custom orthotics, we can prescribe a pair that fits your exact needs.

If you have any other questions about diabetic foot care, don’t be afraid to ask. We can treat the more mundane issues and also tackle the bigger complications that come with diabetes and your feet. Call the McDowell Podiatry Group in Carmichael, CA, at (916) 961-3434. After all, you are what you treat!

Photo Credit: webvilla via Pixabay.com

Dr. Brian McDowell
Dr. Brian McDowell, board-certified podiatrist, provides cutting-edge foot and ankle care in Carmichael, CA.