Anyone who has diabetes knows they have more to worry about than just checking their blood sugar throughout the day. Diabetes also requires that you pay attention to your feet. Our skilled podiatrists are available to explain the best ways to avoid diabetic foot problems.
Crucial At-home Foot Care for Diabetic Patients
Diabetic patients often suffer from reduced circulation in their lower extremities that can interfere with their ability to feel pain. Lacking sensation in your feet can create a variety of problems and complications. If you fail to take proper care of your feet, those complications can have devastating consequences. In worst-case scenarios, untreated problems in diabetic feet can lead to amputation.
How to Avoid Diabetic Foot Problems
- Don’t soak your feet in water for prolonged periods, and make sure to thoroughly dry your feet and toes after a shower or bath.
- Manage your blood sugar and get closer to your A1C goal. More regulated blood sugar means better and more consistent blood flow in your feet, which is crucial to healing injuries and preventing new problems.
- Stop behaviors such as smoking that increase the risk of medical issues.
- Perform daily self-exams on your feet. You should specifically look for color changes, severe dryness, scaling, sudden lack of hair in specific areas of the foot and ankle, or anything else that seems out of the ordinary.
- Seek medical treatment quickly if you discover bunions, ingrown toenails, sores, or ulcers on your feet.
- Trim your toenails regularly, but avoid cutting them too short around the sides.
- Use diabetic socks and custom orthotics to keep your feet comfortable and avoid painful pressure on nerves.
- Wear shoes as often as possible to prevent bruises or cuts that may not heal properly due to inhibited blood flow.
When Diabetic Patients Need to See a Foot Specialist
One of the most important steps for continued diabetic foot health is also the most overlooked. Be sure to see a podiatrist regularly for preventative evaluations along with this daily, at-home care.
A foot specialist can look for issues associated with diabetes before they have the opportunity to become a problem—such as peripheral neuropathy. This particular nerve condition is common in diabetic patients and will continue to get worse on its own if you don’t take steps to address symptoms quickly.
Reasons to Contact an Idaho Podiatrist
- Burning sensations on the ankle, ball, heel, or midfoot areas
- Difficulty feeling heat or cold in your feet
- Discoloration on the skin
- Numbness/loss of sensation in toes or other areas of the foot
- Overly dry areas of the feet that become cracked and painful
- Sharp, needle-like pain
- Sudden shooting pains