Here at Superior Foot & Ankle Care Center we believe in the importance of good foot care for all or our patients. For those with diabetes, however, extra precautions are necessary. Diabetes has several conditions associated with it that can result in major medical complications being caused by what other patients may deem minor foot issues. A compromised immune system, reduced circulation and neuropathy (or lack of sensation) all require additional measures to keep feet safe and healthy. Below are 6 podiatric tips for patients with diabetes:
- Choose footwear carefully. Shoes should have roomy toe boxes that don’t cramp or squeeze toes together. This will reduce the risk of ingrown toenails. Shoes should be made of natural, breathable materials. Inspect shoes periodically to make sure there are no rough spots, loose stitching or other elements that could rub on the skin and cause a blister or ulcer.
- Watch the heat. Don’t expose feet to high temperatures from fire places or electric blankets. Carefully monitor water temperature in baths and showers. A loss of sensation can result in burns due to the fact that the patient does not perceive pain from heat or burning.
- Stay dry. Fungi love moist, dark places to grow, such as the inside of sweaty socks. Change socks as soon as you notice they are damp to help avoid fungal infections.
- Keep the blood flowing. You can help improve circulation by exercising regularly and not sitting or standing in one position for long periods of time. Don’t cross your legs or wear socks that are tight or have elastic in the top to hold them up.
- Inspect feet daily. Wash your feet in warm soapy water every day and while you do so, check for cuts, blisters, bumps, bruising, swelling, growths or anything unusual or different on your feet. Report any changes to the foot doctor promptly.
- Make your podiatrist a care partner. Regular podiatric checkups with our podiatrists, Victoria M. Foley and Dr. Constance Ornelas can go a long way toward prevent footing health problems. If seen regularly, the foot doctor can detect changes and potential issues in your feet in the very earliest stages and stop problems before they start.