Diabetics must pay careful attention to their feet to ensure that small, everyday occurrences don’t turn into huge problems. These may be difficult to deal with and heal from. Diabetics need to be getting into the habit of checking their feet the same time everyday, so that if there is a problem they get immediate medical attention. (video to diabetics)
Unfortunately, diabetics cannot count on the same healing abilities that non-diabetic people possess. This is due to a number of causes.
First of all, diabetes can reduce blood flow, which makes healing from injury slow. When your wounds are slow to heal, you are at an increased risk for infection, which can then spread more quickly due to diabetes. Even issues as initially small as a blister from a shoe or a stubbed toe can turn into much larger problems if you aren’t careful and don’t seek timely medical attention.
Diabetics are also at risk for neuropathy, which can decrease sensation or cause you to loose complete sensation in your extremities. When you have less sensation or a loss of sensation in your feet, you are at risk for ulcers or deformity, which you may not deal with quickly or adequately because you cannot feel the problem. Decreased circulation in the feet is also a common issue for diabetics. Both of these can also lead to amputation, so it is important to consult with your doctor as soon as possible whenever you feel changes in your feet. No self treatment is recommended.
There are many steps you can take to ensure healthy feet as a diabetic.
- ● First, you should avoid any open sores or wounds. Wash your feet carefully in lukewarm water every day, and moisturize everywhere except between the toes. This keeps feet clean, reducing risk of infection, and prevents them from cracking or splitting.
- ● Take care to cut your toenails straight across and to avoid cutting them too close to the quick, which could encourage ingrown toenails. File them afterward to prevent sharp edges from forming, which could also result in an ingrown nail. Avoid trimming calluses and corns; if they bother you enough, ask your doctor about it.
- ● Wear well-fitting, smooth, clean socks, and shoes that are immediately comfortable and don’t require breaking in.
- ● Avoid allowing your feet to become too hot, cold or wet, and don’t go barefoot, however tempting it may be. Wear socks to bed if your feet get cold, and don’t ever use a heating pad or hot water bottle to warm your feet.
- ● Get regular foot exams so that your doctor can ensure you don’t have problems you haven’t noticed. Even if your feet are consistently healthy and you’ve never had problems, keep getting your annual foot exam. It can prevent a potentially serious problem that could result in loss of your foot, so don’t take the chance.
At our office, we take all potential problems very seriously. Any time you experience pain or discomfort in your feet, or are simply worried about a change in your normal health, you are welcome to come consult with Dr. Taub and our staff of experienced podiatry professionals.
Your health is your greatest source of wealth, so you should take pains to safeguard it whenever possible. Whether you have a concern or it’s time for your yearly diabetic foot exam, call us today to make an appointment.