Having been diagnosed with diabetes, your treatment plan will most likely include making significant changes in your life. You need to make dietary changes as well as lifestyle changes if you want to prevent serious and potentially life-threatening complications.
Effective diabetes management involves diabetic foot care. Diabetics are at high risk of developing peripheral neuropathy — nerve damage which often begins in the feet. Peripheral neuropathy can affect the way you experience pain. In some cases, people lose sensation in parts of the body. So, if you were to have an open wound on your foot, you could very well miss it. Moreover, diabetes can negatively affect wound healing, which leaves you vulnerable to infection. Due to these reasons, diabetics have a high risk of limb amputations.
If you are a diabetic, here’s what you should do to take care of your feet through diabetic foot care.
Daily Inspection of Feet
Diabetic foot care means checking your feet daily for any signs of cuts, scratches, corns, calluses, redness, swelling, etc. Run your fingers on every inch of your feet and assess whether you have any numbness. If you notice anything unusual, see a podiatrist for a diagnosis and treatment.
Moisturize Feet and Wear Clean Socks
Your feet need to be moisturized to prevent dry and cracked skin. While your feet are damp from the bath, apply moisturizing lotion (careful not to apply lotion between the toes) and wear clean socks (do not wear used socks) to seal the moisture in. Choose socks made especially for diabetics, which are thicker and have more cushioning.
Bathe in Lukewarm Water
When washing your feet or bathing, use lukewarm water. Scalding water can harm your feet. In addition, be gentle with your feet. Do not use hard scrubbing tools, such as pumice rocks, that could potentially cause scratches or wounds on the feet. You may opt to use a soft washcloth.
Wearing the Right Shoes
When buying shoes, avoid getting heels and narrow shoes that restrain your toes too much. Your toes need ample room to be comfortable. Sneakers with ample support are a better choice for diabetics. Talk to your doctor about custom-made orthotics for maximum support and comfort, and never walk barefoot – even while at home – because it increases the risk of injuries, scratches, cuts, and other wounds.
Trim Toenails Carefully
When trimming your toenails, be very careful not to cut yourself or cut your nails too short, as this can encourage the growth of ingrown nails. A podiatrist specializing in diabetic foot care can teach you how to properly care for your feet and how to trim and file your toenails.
Have Foot Issues Addressed by a Podiatrist
If you have any issues with your feet, such as a wound, discharge, pain, swelling, inflammation, loss of sensation, or corns and calluses, visit a podiatrist as soon as possible. Podiatrists specialize in foot and ankle care and treatment and have proper training in wound care and the prevention of complications from diabetes. Effective diabetic foot care involves seeking medical attention when an issue pops up before it gets out of hand. Diabetic foot issues can escalate very quickly, so see a podiatrist even if a minor issue happens.
Top Diabetic Foot Specialist in St. Peters and O’Fallon
The talented orthopedic specialists at Advanced Bone & Joint are proud to offer comprehensive foot and ankle care to patients with diabetes.
We have an advanced wound care clinic for patients requiring immediate medical attention. Time is of the essence when it comes to diabetic wound treatment — our goal is to prevent complications that can lead to limb loss.
For your foot and ankle concerns, call Advanced Bone & Joint at (636) 229-4222 or send us an appointment request today.