Comprehensive Care From a Podiatrist Experienced in Diabetes Management
Receiving proper podiatric care is essential to your diabetes management plan. We take pride in the responsibility of being your podiatrist and we’ll work with you to treat complications early and practice preventive medicine to keep your feet happy and healthy.
Diabetes and Your Feet
Did you know that diabetics are more prone to foot infections and have an increased chance of lower extremity amputation?
In fact, diabetes is the leading cause of amputations in the United States. The good news is that with preventative treatment and annual visits to your podiatrist you can significantly reduce your risk of foot problems due to diabetes.
Just a Foot Blister
If you’re diabetic, a wound as simple as a blister from tight shoes can cause a lot of damage. Diabetes decreases blood flow so injuries are slow to heal and may become infected. What’s worse is that 60-70% of diabetics suffer from neuropathy (nerve damage) which results in numbness of your feet. When your feet become numb, they are at risk for becoming deformed or injured. You might not feel small wounds or abrasions and never notice them without a visual inspection.
We recommend you check regularly for puncture wounds, bruises, pressure areas, redness, warmth, blisters, ulcers, scratches, cuts and nail problems. Get someone to help you, or use a mirror. The American Diabetic Association recommends that you have your feet checked once a year from a podiatrist experienced in treating diabetics.
Schedule Regular Appointments With a Podiatrist Specializing in Diabetes Treatment
Diabetics suffer from unique problems with their feet and that’s why the ADA recommends you see a qualified podiatrist at least once a year. A combination of treatment and preventive medicine can reduce the risk of most diabetes-related complications.
Small problems like corns, calluses or ingrown toenails can lead to serious infections but regular care from your podiatrist provides you with a variety of treatment options including: vascular intervention, comprehensive wound care, and infection management. The earlier a wound is detected, the greater the chance amputation can be prevented.
During your first visit we will conduct a comprehensive exam to check the condition of your feet and determine the status of your circulations and nerves. While you are receiving care from AFAC, we will work with you to improve your diabetes education and show you how to prevent possible complications.
Why Do Diabetics Have More Foot Problems?
There are two main reasons why diabetics have extra complications with their feet.
- Nerve damage (neuropathy): Almost two-thirds of diabetics experience diminished nerve function, often causing pain and tingling. Severe nerve damage causes lack of sensation leading to cuts, scratches, and even broken bones in the foot. These problems can go unnoticed, leading to devastating events, including amputation.
- Circulation problems: Diabetes often causes a decrease in blood flow to the extremities. This can cause cuts and scratches to heal improperly. A foot with circulation problems is at a much higher risk for infection and amputation.
What You Can Do to Take Care of Your Feet:
- Always keep your feet warm.
- Don’t get your feet wet in snow or rain.
- Don’t put your feet on radiators or in front of the fireplace.
- Don’t smoke or sit cross-legged. Both decrease blood supply to your feet.
- Don’t soak your feet.
- Don’t use antiseptic solutions, drugstore medications, heating pads or sharp instruments on your feet.
- Trim your toenails straight across. Avoid cutting the corners. Use a nail file or emery board. If you find an ingrown toenail, contact our office.
- Use quality lotion to keep the skin of your feet soft and moist, but don’t put any lotion between your toes as it may cause infection.
- Wash your feet every day with mild soap and warm water.
- Wear loose socks to bed.
- Wear warm socks and shoes in winter.
- When drying your feet, pat each foot with a towel and be careful between your toes.
- Buy shoes that are comfortable without a “breaking in” period. Check how your shoe fits in width, length, back, bottom of heel, and sole. Avoid pointed-toe styles and high heels. Try to get shoes made with leather upper material and deep toe boxes. Wear new shoes for only two hours or less at a time. Don’t wear the same pair every day. Inspect the inside of each shoe before putting it on. Don’t lace your shoes too tightly or loosely.
- Choose socks and stockings carefully. Wear clean, dry socks every day. Avoid socks with holes or wrinkles. Thin cotton socks are more absorbent for summer wear. Square-toes socks will not squeeze your toes. Avoid stockings with elastic tops.
- Visit your podiatrist at least once a year for a comprehensive foot exam.
For Additional Information
For additional diabetic care information or to make an appointment, please call 206-FOOT-DOC (206-366-8362).