For people with diabetes, being aware of the challenges that come with the disease is extremely important. Among these challenges is the susceptibility to foot problems which, when left untreated, can literally cost the person a leg – or even their life.
If you’re living with diabetes, it goes without saying that taking care of your feet is central to preserving your limbs, mobility, and overall quality of life.
Below are some diabetic foot care guidelines to ultimately help you keep moving and living well despite your condition.
Check Your Feet Regularly
Make it a habit to check your feet regularly and thoroughly, especially your toes and soles, for any cuts, sores, blisters, or any sign of an injury.
If you can’t reach your feet easily, ask a loved one for help.
Keep Your Feet Clean and Dry
Wash your feet with warm water and mild soap, and make sure to dry them thoroughly. Keeping your feet dry can help you avoid fungal infections, which can cause inflammation and fissuring.
Keep in mind that more than 80 percent of amputations begin with foot ulcers, which stem from a simple crack, blister, or cut.
Never Walk Around Barefoot Even Indoors
Diabetes can cause damage to the lining of your blood vessels, thereby compromising blood circulation to your extremities. Poor blood circulation can cause you to lose sensation in your feet, which can make walking around without protection a disaster. You can have a cut or scrape on your foot and not know it.
Make sure to always wear socks or slippers when indoors and check the inside of your shoes for pebbles or objects.
Choose Shoes That Are Comfortable and Fit Well
To help ensure that you get shoes that fit well, wait until the afternoon or end of the day to buy them. Your feet expand naturally with use during the day. Make sure to also slowly break in your new shoes by wearing them for an hour or two the first few days until you feel completely comfortable.
Also, go for shoes that are lightweight; let your feet breathe and move; and have a shock-absorbing sole, which helps ease the pressure on the bottom of your foot.
See Your Foot Doctor Regularly
If you have no neurological deficit, you can see your foot doctor every year. However, if you already have symptoms of nerve damage or poor circulation (e.g., tingling sensation and numbness in your feet), you should see your doctor every two to three months.
Your foot doctor can recommend strategies or develop a treatment plan to help you lower your risk for potentially serious foot problems or complications.
Diabetic Foot Care in St. Charles County, MO
Dr. Anthony Lombardo, our board-certified podiatrist, is passionate about equipping patients with useful information to empower them to stay on top of their foot and ankle health.
Schedule an appointment with Dr. Lombardo today. You may either call our office at (636) 229-4222 or use our convenient online form. We’re eager to serve you!