Foot Care Tips for Diabetics

If you’re living with diabetes, maintaining proper foot care is important to protecting the health of your feet and your overall well-being. 

Ignoring a blister or foot sore can result in a serious wound. Without treatment, you can develop an infection that leads to the loss of one or more toes, a foot, or an entire leg by amputation.

You can reduce your risk of diabetes-related foot problems by taking precautions to maintain foot health. Jeremy Moran, DPM, provides expert foot care for diabetic patients at his private practice, ToeOp, in Tomball, Texas. 

Dr. Moran and our ToeOp staff help you avoid serious foot issues by providing education, routine podiatry care, and professional diagnosis and treatment of problems before they become serious. 

Our caring staff is dedicated to helping diabetic patients keep their feet in top shape to preserve their overall health. Here’s what you can do to prevent foot problems with diabetes. 

Inspect your feet daily

Maintaining healthy feet is so important for diabetics that the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons advises daily foot inspections for people with diabetes.

Why? Because if you have diabetes, you are vulnerable to nerve damage, called diabetic neuropathy, in your feet. This condition, which affects about one out of every two diabetics, reduces the sensation in your feet. 

With diabetic neuropathy, you can have a wound or injury without feeling warning signs of discomfort or pain. An untreated cut or blister can develop an infection that can spread throughout your body.

Diabetic foot ulcers, which affect about 15% of patients with diabetes, are also a concern. They occur as open or unhealed wounds on the bottoms of your feet. Identifying foot ulcers and getting immediate treatment can prevent infection and potential amputation.

Diabetes can make you vulnerable to problems such as blisters, bruises, and bumps on your foot. People with diabetes are also more likely to have calluses, which can develop into foot ulcers and infections.

When you notice any sign of a wound or skin damage, have it examined as quickly as possible. To inspect your feet, use a magnifying device or mirror and look for:

Record any changes in sensation. Pain, burning, tingling, or numbness can indicate the start of diabetic neuropathy.

Care for your feet properly

You can protect your feet from problems by taking care to prevent injuries, especially if you don’t have a full sense of feeling in your feet. Activities like walking barefoot or stepping into a hot bath before testing the water temperature increase your risk of foot injuries. 

Keep your nails trimmed. When cutting your nails, cut them straight across and file the edges. Avoid cutting the nail too short because it could lead to ingrown toenails.

Proper foot care also includes washing and drying your feet daily. Follow this with the application of moisturizing cream or lotion to replace the moisture that higher-than-normal blood glucose levels pull from your body. Avoid moisturizing between your toes because this can encourage the growth of foot fungus. 

Select footwear carefully

What you put on your feet is just as important as how you care for them. Wear clean, dry socks. Consider using an antiperspirant on the bottom of your feet if your feet sweat excessively. Change your socks if they get wet from snow or rain.

Aim for feet that are warm and dry without overheating. To warm cold feet when you sleep, wear socks instead of using a heating pad or hot water bottle.

Get properly fitted for your shoes. Wearing ill-fitting shoes increases your risk of developing corns and calluses. It can also make you more susceptible to a trip or fall.

If you have diabetic neuropathy, you may not notice a pebble or other object that could cause a wound on the bottom of your foot. Shake out your shoes before wearing them to be sure they’re free of debris. 

Get regular foot exams

Don’t make foot problems worse by trying to correct them yourself. Trying to treat corns or calluses may make a minor problem worse, resulting in ulcers and infections that require longer, more complicated care than your initial problem.

Schedule regular office visits with us at ToeOp for a thorough foot examination. Having periodic foot exams allows Dr. Moran to identify and diagnose any problems so you can begin appropriate treatment as quickly as possible. 

Foot care is an important factor in staying healthy with diabetes. Schedule an appointment for an examination and diabetes foot care consultation by calling us at ToeOp today.

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