Taking good care of your feet is vitally important for patients who have diabetes. Since diabetes contributes to nerve damage, you may lose some or all of the feeling in your feet and you may not even know when you have a cut or blister because you feel no pain. Reduction in blood flow is also a consideration since this can inhibit your immune system and make it more difficult for injuries to get better. If you develop just a blister or seemingly minor wound that is left untreated, it could end up causing a serious infection, sometimes leading to the amputation of a toe, foot or even the whole lower leg.
So take good care of your feet! The following tips can help you avoid any major complications:
● Daily foot inspections - Check for cuts, blisters, swelling or redness. Be sure to inspect between your toes since skin folds are one of the places where infection can start. Also, check the bottom of your feet using a mirror so that you can see the entire area.
● Keep your feet clean and dry - With warm water, and using a soft washcloth, gently clean your feet. Dry carefully, and be sure to focus between your toes where moisture can become trapped.
● Proper nail cutting - To avoid ingrown toenails, cut your nails on only a slight curve or straight across to decrease the chances.
● Corns and calluses – These should be treated by your podiatrist since it can be difficult to do without causing injury.
● Dry skin treatment - Use moisturizing lotion, but do not keep any between your toes to avoid a possible infection.
● Socks - Wear clean, dry socks as much as possible. Consider wearing socks that wick away moisture.
● Footwear - Specially designed diabetic footwear is a great way to keep your feet in good shape, and the cost is usually covered by insurance.
● Regular foot exams - Have your foot care specialist check your feet at least several times per year for proper evaluation and to develop an evolving treatment plan for the optimal care of your feet.
If diabetic foot problems are causing you concern, we highly recommend that you consult our board-certified podiatrists Andrew Shapiro, DPM and Michael Barkin, DPM. With access to advanced technologies, along with years of experience to help diagnose and treat a variety of foot and ankle problems, we can assist you with heel pain, ankle sprains, diabetic foot care, toe deformities, nail fungus, and skin problems, among many other conditions. Our practice is conveniently located on West Merrick Road in Valley Stream to accommodate all of your foot care needs. Call (516) 825-3860 or book an appointment online today!