Foot wounds can be particularly concerning for those with diabetes. What starts as a tiny abrasion can become a life-altering problem if it isn’t discovered and treated early. It’s much easier to take steps to avoid getting a wound in the first place than it is to deal with an extreme medical emergency down the line. Simply put, if you are diabetic, you should avoid walking barefoot.
Why Diabetic Patients Should Always Wear Shoes or Socks
Diabetics who struggle to control their A1C tend to have more foot issues because consistently high blood sugar contributes to nerve damage and other health problems. That’s one reason why we strongly recommend that diabetic patients wear socks and shoes as often as possible.
Preventing foot wear and tear, such as bruising or lacerations, should be a priority for anyone with diabetes. That means keeping sandals on at the beach, shoes on out in the yard, and socks on even when at home to avoid small scrapes that can become a medical problem.
A simple stubbed toe or tiny scratch on the heel can develop into an extremely dangerous problem for diabetic patients. Broken glass, children’s toys, pebbles, sticks, and anything else on the ground pose a bigger risk to you than simple pain and bruising.
The Risks of Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes
Both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes increase the risk of nerve damage, which is known as peripheral neuropathy. This condition can severely reduce your ability to feel a foot wound. If your nerves don’t provide a pain signal, you are unlikely to notice any problems with your feet. That puts you at risk for bruises, abrasions, cuts, burns, and scrapes.
The circulation problem typically experienced by diabetic patients is one reason why foot wounds are such a major concern. Less blood flow to the feet means that any cut you sustain not only takes longer to heal than normal, but it is more likely to become infected. A foot infection that goes untreated for too long can reach a stage where drastic measures, such as amputation, are required. Obviously, we want to help patients avoid that outcome.
You Should See a Podiatrist if You Have Diabetes
Staying ahead of potential health problems is crucial to remaining on your feet and preventing serious mobility issues. If you are diabetic, you need to see a podiatrist regularly to ensure your feet are as healthy as possible.
Whether you’ve suffered an injury that’s now infected, or you just want a preventative checkup, it’s important to schedule an appointment with an experienced podiatrist. Our dedicated foot care team knows how to treat diabetic foot issues and can help combat infected wounds.
Possible Treatments to Protect Your Feet
- Antibiotic prescription medication, either oral or topical
- Biologics for foot wounds
- Customized orthotics to prevent pressure or injuries in specific areas of the foot
- Diabetic socks for extra protection
- Electromedical treatments for neuropathy symptoms