Diabetic Foot Care
Feet are sometimes out of sight, out of mind, but for individuals with diabetes, it’s important to keep feet top of mind.
Diabetes can slow the blood circulation and reduce the sensation in the feet. With reduced blood flow, healing may take longer, leaving feet prone to infection. It can be difficult to identify painful foot issues, too, because high blood sugar can damage nerves and reduce sensitivity.
That’s why Dr. Smith recommends regular visits to the podiatrist as well as a thorough daily foot care routine.
Preventing Diabetic Foot Problems
Dr. Smith stresses that diabetic people should perform a daily foot inspection to look for color changes, swelling, blisters, warts, calluses, or sores. Your feet should be free of any abnormalities. Contact a doctor immediately if you see sores, redness, discoloration, cracked/dry skin, toenail problems, or blisters. These seemingly minor problems can lead to infections and possibly even hospitalization.
Shoes should also be regularly inspected. The interiors should be smooth and unbroken, and any debris, such as pebbles or twigs, should be removed immediately upon detection. Heavily worn shoes should be discarded in favor of comfortable new shoes. Socks should be comfortable — never tight — and with few or no seams to irritate the skin.
Treating Diabetics’ Feet
Regular visits to Dr. Smith will include special tests of your sensitivity and circulation. The staff can also assist with trimming nails and selecting diabetic footwear, which is an office specialty.
Daily inspections of your feet and footwear — along with exercise and your diabetic diet and medication — can help individuals with diabetes head off serious foot-related complications.