Diabetic Foot Care
Diabetes, an autoimmune disease that affects millions of Americans, poses special risks to your feet. The condition slows your circulation and dulls your nerves, especially in feet and toes far from your heart and central nervous system. This double whammy not only makes it harder for you to detect cuts, scrapes, and other injuries, but it also restricts your body’s ability to heal itself and fight infection. If unnoticed or untreated, even minor injuries can develop into significant ulcers, which eventually require amputation in some cases.
At-Home Inspection Is Essential
The most important aspect of diabetic foot care is how you take care of your feet at home. Inspect your feet carefully and thoroughly at least once per day. Use a mirror or enlist a loved one if you have any difficulty seeing
the bottom of your feet. Contact us if you discover any cuts, scrapes, blisters, swelling, or any skin or nail issues.
Catching problems early, and seeking help promptly, is the best way to avoid serious complications, such as amputation of a toe or foot.
Treating Your Feet Right
To minimize the risk of infection, keep your feet clean, dry, and protected. Wash them gently in warm water and dry thoroughly, including between the toes. A pumice stone can be used to carefully and gently scrub calluses and dry, dead skin. Use a moisturizer (everywhere except between the toes) to keep dryness and cracking at bay.
Be careful when trimming nails—always cut straight across from corner to corner, and not too short. Doing so reduces the chances of developing an ingrown toenail, which can be painful and easily become infected, or lead to fungal toenails. If you’d prefer, contact our podiatric practice and we can do this for you.
Keep your feet protected by always wearing a comfortable, supportive pair of shoes and custom orthotics that fits you well whenever you leave home, and check the inside of your shoes before putting them on to make sure they do not contain foreign objects. Although any pair of shoes will protect you from stepping on sharp objects, shoes that don’t fit well can lead to sores, blisters, corns, or other conditions due to painful friction.
Managing Your Condition
Taking care of yourself and managing your diabetes will keep your circulation stronger and your nerves healthier, which in turn will help protect your feet. A common side effect of persistently elevated blood sugar associated with diabetes is peripheral neuropathy, which can cause numbness, tingling or burning pain in the feet. Carefully managing your sugar levels, maintaining a good diet, refraining from smoking or alcohol abuse, and getting plenty of exercise is good for your whole body, including your lower extremities.
How Eagle-Summit Foot & Ankle Can Help
Our office provides comprehensive diabetic foot care, from yearly foot checks to diabetic toenail trimming, corn and callus removal, custom orthotics, wound care, and more. Whether you have an ulcer that needs debridement, or you’re just looking for tips on selecting a good pair of shoes, the doctors and staff at Eagle-Summit Foot & Ankle are here to help!
If you notice any problems during your regular foot checks, including swelling, itchiness, redness, blisters, or other abnormalities, call our Avon, CO office at (970) 949-0500 or our Frisco office at (970) 668-4565 today. You don’t have to manage diabetes alone—let us help you stay healthy and on your feet!