Diabetes is a chronic condition that weakens the body’s ability to process blood sugar. If you leave it untreated, it can worsen and have dire consequences. The feet are particularly at risk for developing complications due to diabetes. Infections, ulcers, and even amputations are all possible adverse effects.
The good news is that you can avoid many of these problems if you take adequate care of your feet. If you want to ensure your foot gets the care it needs, you may follow these tips:
1. Inspect Your Feet Daily
The first step in taking care of your feet is to check them daily.
This helps you detect potential foot issues early when they are easily treated and less likely to cause further complications.
Here’s how to check your feet for problems related to diabetes:
Find a Well-Lit Area
First, go somewhere bright where you can see your feet. If you have trouble seeing your feet, use a mirror or ask someone for assistance.
Check for Cuts, Sores, or Blisters
Examine your feet for cuts, sores, or blisters. Also, inspect the spaces between your toes, the bottoms of your feet, and the skin around your toenails.
Apply a sterile dressing to any open sores or blisters to stop the spread of infection.
Look for Redness or Swelling
Check your feet for any red or swollen spots, as they could indicate an infection or inflammation.
Check Your Skin
Watch out for changes in how your skin looks and feels. Dry skin, a common complication of diabetes, can easily split and flake off.
To maintain supple and hydrated skin, use a moisturizing cream.
Check Your Circulation
Simply put some pressure on the tips of your toes and let go. Once the skin has turned white, it should return to its normal color.
A lack of circulation may be to blame if the color doesn’t return within a few seconds.
Check for Numbness or Tingling
Pay attention to your feet for any signs of tingling or numbness. Sensitivity loss in the feet is a common complication of diabetes. See a doctor if you experience any tingling or numbness.
2. Keep Your Feet Clean and Dry
If you have diabetes, it is essential to keep your feet dry at all times to:
- Prevent bacterial and fungal infections
- Reduce the risk of skin breakdown
- Keep your foot in good condition
A damp foot environment can be ideal for the growth of fungi and bacteria, leading to infections and other problems.
In addition, prolonged exposure to moisture can cause skin breakdown, particularly in areas with pressure or friction. This can lead to excruciating sores or ulcers that take a long time to heal.
3. Wear Proper Footwear
Diabetic foot care relies heavily on preventing injuries, infections, poor blood flow, and deformities. You can prevent these things by simply wearing the right shoes
As such, choose footwear that fits snugly, offers arch support, and has a comfortable insole. Keep your toes dry and comfortable by choosing shoes with a wide, deep toe box instead of pointed or high heels.
Tight and uncomfortable gear can irritate the feet and increase the risk of foot problems.
Although slip-on shoes may not offer adequate support, lace-ups, buckles, and straps can help create a customized and secure fit.
4. Avoid Walking Barefoot
When you go about your daily activities barefoot, you put yourself at greater risk of sustaining an injury or infection. Even when you’re just going to be inside, wear shoes.
5. Trim Your Toenails Carefully
Regularly cutting your toenails can help prevent ingrown nails and other issues with your feet.
When you trim them, make sure not to round off the corners. Instead, cut them straight across.
Ask your healthcare provider for assistance if you experience the following:
- You are unable to reach your toenails
- You have nails that are particularly thick or brittle
6. Get Regular Foot Exams
Regular foot exams can detect problems before they become severe. Based on your examination results, your podiatrist can develop a personalized treatment plan.
This includes advice on managing blood sugar and a daily foot care routine.
Diabetic Foot Care Clinic in Warwick & Middletown, RI, & Fall River, MA
Keeping the feet healthy and infection-free is a daily responsibility for those with diabetes. If you need surgery or medical care for your feet, our board-certified surgeons can help you.
If you need the best diabetic foot care clinic near you, trust the Foot & Ankle Institute of New England. Our doctors provide comprehensive, high-quality services. From minimally invasive procedures to the latest surgical treatments, we can help you. We also treat injuries, deformities, and diseases of the lower leg, ankles, and feet. Using state-of-the-art technology, we serve patients of all ages and help them live healthy and active lives.
You may reach our Warwick office at (401) 738-7750 and our Middletown office at (401) 217-4444. You can also call our Fall River clinic at (508) 679-3700. To schedule a consultation, you may use this secure online appointment form. We’re ready to help you get back on your feet!