Approximately 1 in every 10 people lives with diabetes. This common condition affects many aspects of your daily life. Being more vulnerable to foot issues is another complication of diabetes. Preventative care and a little extra attention are all that stand between you and healthy, happy feet.
Being able to have your feet taken care of by a compassionate professional is essential. Experts recommend people with diabetes see a podiatrist once a year at the very minimum to keep an eye on any potential issues. If you aren't already established with a podiatrist, contact us to answer any questions you may have!
Diabetic Foot Problems
The main issues facing patients with diabetes are peripheral neuropathy and peripheral artery disease. Neuropathy causes pain and ultimately numbness; unfortunately, this can prevent you from feeling an injury to your feet until much later. Peripheral artery disease, or PAD, is a constricting of the blood vessels in your lower limbs. This narrowing of vessels leads to slow wound healing and hinders the fighting of infections.
Lack of awareness of an injury paired with slow healing can lead to severe problems, including foot ulcers, sores, infections, blisters, and more.
Furthermore, minor issues can occur due to diabetes and, while not as severe or life-threatening, can be bothersome and keep you from enjoying life to the fullest. Predisposition for fungal toenails and dry skin are a few of the common issues facing people with diabetes.
Professional Treatment For Diabetic Feet
Are you thinking of opting out of that annual diabetic foot exam? If nothing serious is going on, it might be tempting to skip the recommended yearly exam; however, the best way to avoid a significant problem is to have regular check-ups with your podiatrist.
During your foot exam, I will look for any dryness, fungus, or other minor problems. Of course, I'm also looking for serious issues like foot wounds, foreign bodies, and signs of nerve damage or circulation issues. We can also provide you with a prescription for diabetic shoes and custom insoles to prevent diabetic foot problems.
Utilizing the services of a podiatrist is just one of many ways you can take control of your diabetes and get on the road to living a happy and healthy life.
At-Home Diabetic Foot Care
Just as necessary as seeking professional podiatric treatment for diabetic feet are the steps taken at home to keep your feet healthy.
- Check your feet daily. Look for cuts, redness, swelling, sores, blisters, calluses, or any change in the skin or toenails. You can use a hand mirror to check the soles of your feet or ask a trusted family member to help.
- Wash your feet daily. Use warm water, not too hot. Dry your feet thoroughly and apply lotion, avoiding the spaces between your toes. I recommend Urea Care as an effective moisturizer for the feet.
- Never go barefoot. It is crucial to wear shoes or slippers inside and outside the house. Check your shoes for pebbles or debris before putting them on.
- Wear shoes that fit well. As stated above, we are happy to provide you with the resources to obtain good-quality diabetic shoes. Break in your shoes slowly at first and always wear socks. Either way, your shoes should have proper support and fit well.
- Trim your toenails properly. You should always cut your toenails straight across and smooth any sharp edges with a file. If you have trouble bending to reach your feet, we can trim them for you regularly- usually every two months. This service is generally covered by insurance for people with diabetes.
- Don't remove corns or calluses yourself. Always seek a podiatrist for help with any corns or calluses. Over-the-counter treatments for corns and calluses can burn your skin.
- Don't skip your diabetic foot check-ups! You already know how important these visits are. We are here to support you and keep your feet healthy.
If you notice any pain or cramping in the legs, tingling or burning in your feet, loss of feeling, dry or cracked skin, thick toenails, fungus between the toes, or any blister, sore, ulcer, corn, or ingrown toenail, don't hesitate to call. A minor issue for a non-diabetic person can be a major issue for someone with diabetes, and if you have diabetes a minor problem can quickly turn into a major one.
My team and I are here to assist you on your journey to healthy feet. We can help answer questions and provide resources to get your diabetes under control. A healthy and happy life is the goal we strive to help every one of our patients achieve.
If you have diabetes or are the caretaker of someone with diabetes, call us to set up an appointment. More often than not, we can see you within three weeks of your call, rather than the several months it can take to see other providers. We service the Midland, Saginaw, and Bay City areas and beyond! Use our handy online contact form or call us at 989-695-6788 to speak to a friendly team member today!