If you live with diabetes, you likely don’t have to be told how important managing your health is. Managing what you eat, managing exercise, managing medications—and that’s just part of it.
Another aspect of diabetic care well worth managing is your feet!
We know you already have plenty to keep track of, but consider sharpening your wits in diabetic foot care. The proper attention could save you from infection, or worse, amputation.
Why Should Diabetics Care about Their Feet?
Diabetics are more at risk for developing foot complications because of poor circulation and nerve damage (neuropathy).
It’s imperative 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 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.
Daily Foot Checks Prevent Dire Complications
Don’t worry. Good diabetic foot care 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. (Selfie sticks also work well!)
Any cuts, sores, wounds, cracks, or swelling may require treatment from an expert at the McDowell Orthopedics and Podiatry Group. It’s 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 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.
Wash your feet daily. 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.
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.
Whatever you do, don’t try to get rid of calluses—or any type of wart, corn, or bunion—with 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.
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 as well as tackle the bigger complications that come with diabetes and your feet. Call the McDowell Orthopedics and Podiatry Group in Carmichael, CA, at (916) 961-3434. After all, you are what you treat!