Taking proper care of your feet when you have diabetes is extremely important since the decreased sense of feeling can lead to unnoticed cuts and infections that can spread rapidly. Wounds that go untreated can even lead to amputation of a toe or entire foot, so be sure to safeguard your feet to avoid these dire complications.
Some foot care guidelines to help avoid major problems when you have diabetes include:
- Daily foot exam—Check your feet and ankles for cuts, blisters, swelling, and redness. Look between your toes for fungal toenail and bacterial infections, since they tend to hide there. Make certain to check the bottom of your feet as well, using a mirror if necessary.
- Keep your feet clean and dry—With a soft washcloth, gently clean your feet and dry carefully, making sure you dry the area between your toes.
- Be careful when cutting your toenails—To avoid starting an ingrown toenail, cut your toenails straight across and a bit longer, so they don’t grow into the tender skin. Having this done at your foot doctor’s office is probably the safest course of action.
- Treat corns and calluses carefully—This is also best done by your foot doctor to avoid cuts and possible infections.
- Avoid dry skin—Treat dry skin with moisturizer to avoid cracks, bleeding, and infection.
- Diabetic footwear—Wearing specialty footwear for diabetic patients is an excellent way to keep your feet protected. Orthotic inserts can help isolate corns and foot ulcers while they heal.
- Don’t smoke—Smoking causes circulation problems and decreases blood flow to your feet and ankles, which slows down the healing response.
If you need help treating diabetic foot problems, be sure to see your podiatrist regularly. At Family Foot & Ankle Clinic, Dr. Stephen Markantone treats a wide variety of foot and ankle conditions including sports injuries, diabetic foot issues, pediatric foot conditions, toe and foot deformities, fungal infections, and heel problems. Equipped with the most advanced technologies and dedicated staff, Family Foot & Ankle Clinic provides individualized and high-quality care for patients in the North Versailles and Delmont, PA areas. Contact our North Versailles office at 412-824-9370 or our Delmont office at 724-733-3338 to schedule an appointment.