People with diabetes are prone to foot problems, often developing from a combination of poor circulation and nerve damage. Damage to the nerves in the legs and feet diminishes skin sensation, making it difficult to detect or notice pain or temperature changes. A minor sore or scrape on your foot may get infected simply because you don't know it is there. A decrease in blood flow makes it difficult for these injuries to heal. And when a wound isn't healing, it's at risk for infection. Left untreated, minor foot injuries can result in ulceration and even amputation.
Foot Care for Diabetics
Simple daily foot care can help prevent serious health problems associated with diabetes.
Dr. Rothstein recommends the following tips for keeping your feet healthy and to help prevent the complications that can be caused by diabetes:
- Wash your feet daily. Keep feet clean with mild soap and lukewarm water, and dry thoroughly.
- Moisturize daily to keep dry skin from cracking, and avoid putting lotion between your toes as this may cause infection.
- As a general rule diabetics or their family members should not cut their toenails. Your podiatrist, Dr. Rothstein, should perform this care
- Never treat corns or calluses on your own. Visit Dr. Rothstein or your podiatrist for this treatment.
- Protect your feet from hot and cold. If your feet are cold never put them near a heater or in hot water. Put on another pair of socks.
- Keep the blood flowing in your feet and legs. Elevate your feet when sitting; don't sit cross-legged; and stay active. Walking is a great exercise to stimulate circulation.
- Inspect your feet every day. Check your feet for cuts, redness, swelling and nail problems. Contact Dr. Rothstein, or your podiatrist, if you notice anything unusual- even the slightest change.
- Avoid Smoking. Smoking restricts blood flow to your feet
- Wear comfortable, supportive shoes and never walk barefoot
- Visit Dr. Rothstein for regular foot exams to help prevent diabetic foot problems.
Dr. Rothstein understands that living with diabetes can be challenging. Come in to discuss simple ways you can reduce your risk of diabetic foot complications. Dr. Rothstein will work with you to create a treatment plan that fits your lifestyle and gets you back on your feet so you can enjoy the things you love. Remember to inspect your feet every day. If you detect an injury- no matter how small- come in for an exam right away.