Diabetic Foot Health

by | Nov 9, 2017

Diabetes, an autoimmune disease that affects millions of Americans, poses special risks to your feet. The condition slows your circulation and damages your nerves, especially in feet and toes far from your head and central nervous system. This double whammy not only makes it harder for you to detect cuts, scrapes, and other injuries, but it also restricts your body’s ability to heal itself and fight infection. If unnoticed or untreated, even minor injuries develop into significant ulcers, which eventually require amputation in some cases.

The most important aspect of diabetic foot care is how you take care of your feet at home. Inspect your feet carefully and thoroughly at least once per day. Use a mirror or enlist a loved one if you have any difficulty seeing the bottom of your feet. Contact us if you discover any cuts, scrapes, blisters, swelling, or any skin or nail issues.

Catching problems early, and seeking help promptly, is the best way to avoid serious complications, including ones that could potentially require amputation of a toe or foot.

To minimize the risk of infection, keep your feet clean, dry, and protected. Wash your lower limbs gently in warm water and dry thoroughly, including between the toes. A pumice stone can be used to carefully and gently scrub calluses and dry, dead skin. Use a moisturizer (everywhere except between the toes) to keep dryness and cracking at bay.

Be careful when trimming nails—always cut straight across from corner to corner, and not too short. Doing so reduces the chances of developing an ingrown toenail, which can be painful and easily become infected, or lead to fungal toenails. If you’d prefer, contact our podiatric practice and we can do this for you.

Keep your feet protected by always wearing a comfortable, supportive pair of shoes that fit you well whenever you leave home, and check the inside of your shoes before putting them on to make sure they do not contain foreign objects. Although any pair of shoes will protect you from stepping on foreign objects, shoes that don’t fit well can lead to sores, blisters, corns, or other conditions due to painful friction.

Taking care of yourself and managing your diabetes will keep your circulation stronger and your nerves healthier, which in turn will help protect your feet. Carefully managing your sugar levels, maintaining a good diet, refraining from smoking or alcohol abuse, and getting plenty of exercise is good for your whole body, including your lower extremities.

Another important measure for your foot health when you are diabetic is to order your FREE copy of our book TIPTOE YOUR WAY TO HAPPY FEET: A User’s Guide to Understanding Foot & Ankle Health. In it, you can learn all about common foot and ankle health problems and what we can do to help. All you have to do is fill out our online form, and we will be happy to send your copy in the mail. (Yes, we are offering an actual physical book – not just an e-book or white paper!)

For more information about diabetic foot care—or to request an appointment for any of our comprehensive foot care services—contact Capital District Podiatry today by calling (518) 273-0053.

Troy Office

763 Hoosick Rd.
Troy, NY 12180

Clifton Park Office

855 Route 146 | Suite 150
Clifton Park, NY 12065

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