If you have diabetes, it’s essential to take good care of your feet. That’s because diabetes can cause problems with the nerves and blood vessels in your feet, which affect sensation and healing. If you treat your feet poorly, you could be looking at serious infections, ulcers, and even amputation.
Below are five tips to help protect your diabetic feet.
1. Inspect Your Feet and Check Your Shoes Regularly
Check your feet every day for any new changes to the skin, including cuts, scrapes, blisters, redness, numbness, or swelling. If you can’t see well enough to do a thorough job yourself, ask someone else to check them for you. In addition, check your footwear before putting it on. Inspect the inside of shoes before putting them on to make sure there are no objects that could injure your feet, such as small stones and debris.
2. Keep Your Feet Clean, Dry, and Moisturized
Wash your feet every day with warm water and mild soap. Then, dry them thoroughly – especially between the toes – to prevent fungus growth. Apply lotion regularly to keep your skin from getting too dry, but try not to put any between your toes, since that could promote fungal growth.
3. Always Keep Your Feet Protected
Wear shoes that fit well and protect against injury. Avoid going barefoot altogether, even while you’re at home. There is special footwear designed for diabetics, also known as diabetic shoes. They are highly comfortable, supportive, and designed with materials that do not cause pinching and irritation, ultimately preventing foot injuries and conditions.
4. Quit Smoking
This may seem out of place here but smoking is terrible for circulation everywhere in the body, including the feet. This increases both wound healing time, as well as your risk of infection – not to mention the many other risks like heart disease and cancer associated with smoking. If you currently smoke, please talk with your doctor about strategies to eliminate this unhealthy habit.
5. See a Podiatrist Regularly
Everyone is recommended to see a podiatrist at least once a year for check-ups, but people with diabetes should see their podiatrist much more frequently. Foot ulcers are a common complication of diabetes, and they can quickly become infected. If not treated promptly, an infected foot ulcer can lead to gangrene, which may require amputation. Regular visits to your podiatrist will help ensure that any foot problems are caught early and treated before they become serious.
Following these simple tips can help keep your feet healthy and prevent serious complications down the road. If you see anything unusual, contact your podiatrist right away.
Diabetic Foot Care in St. Peters, O’Fallon, & Wentzville Missouri
Our board-certified foot and ankle surgeon at Advanced Bone & Joint, Dr. Anthony Lombardo, provides the highest quality podiatry care in St. Peters, O’Fallon & Wentzville. Diabetes is a serious medical condition, and you need expert care to maintain the health of your limbs and minimize the risk of complications. Dr. Lombardo offers comprehensive diabetic foot care in all our locations.