Did you know that when it comes to self care for patients with diabetes that men are far less likely than women to follow the podiatrist’s instructions? In honor of Men’s Health Month we at Superior Foot & Ankle Center want share some important ways that men (and the women who love them) can greatly reduce their risk of serious diabetic foot complications.
One of the biggest health threats for diabetic patients is an open wound or ulcer. Due to poor circulation and decreased immune system function even seemingly minor cuts or injuries can rapidly become major problems. Infections can develop that are very difficult to heal, leading to serious debilitation and even amputation. To reduce the risk of injury and infection, follow these tips:
Inspect your feet daily: since diabetic patients often have nerve damage which makes it difficult to perceive pain and other sensations, visual examination of the feet becomes very important. If you notice any unusual bumps, red spots, blisters, changes in color, size or shape of the foot you should let our podiatrists, Dr. Victoria Foley and Dr. Constance Omelas know ASAP.
Don’t go barefoot: wearing some type of footwear will reduce the risk of toenail and skin infections since these are transmitted by direct contact. You will also decrease the chances of injuring your foot by banging into something or stepping on a sharp object.
Practice good hygiene: wash your feet daily with warm (not hot) water and a mild soap. Be sure to dry thoroughly, especially between the toes, to help prevent athlete’s foot. Sweat glands can also be affected by diabetes. If feet are dry, be sure to apply a rich moisturizer to prevent cracking. Patients who sweat excessively should use a foot powder to help keep feet dry.
Prevent ingrown nails: keep toenails trimmed short and straight across—curved edges can grow down and back into the skin around the nail bed, opening a doorway for bacteria. If you do develop an ingrown nail, don’t attempt any “bathroom surgery!” Allow the podiatrist to take care of the nail.
Following these simple steps can greatly reduce the risk of disability and health issues from diabetes. If you have questions or are experiencing any unusual symptoms in your feet contact our Long Beach office for an appointment by calling: 562-420-9800.