When you have diabetes, high blood sugar can cause poor blood circulation, compromised healing, and nerve damage in your feet. These problems can mean sores or ulcers on your feet have trouble healing and often worsen.
About 130,000 people in the United States have a lower limb amputation each year because of complications of diabetes. Most of these foot and leg complications started as a simple foot ulcer.
Daily foot care goes a long way in preventing and catching foot ulcers, so that they can be treated before infection sets in. Your podiatrist is your partner in your foot care. Aamir Mahmood, DPM, of Momentum Foot and Ankle Clinic in Michigan City and Chesterson, Indiana ensures his patients with diabetes know how to manage their daily foot care. Here’s what he recommends.
Check your feet every day. Look for redness, swelling, sores, calluses, corns, blisters, cuts, or unusual changes to your nails. If you can’t see the bottom of your feet, use a mirror or ask a family member for help.
Wash your feet daily, but avoid long soaks. Use warm water and dry them thoroughly afterward, paying particular attention to the space between your toes. Apply lotion to the tops and bottom of your feet, but avoid your toes, where moisture can linger.
Wear shoes or slippers all the time, even when in your own home. Check your shoes for any pebbles or objects that could cause injury before you put them on.
Proper trimming helps prevent ingrown toenails. If your toenails need a trim, cut them straight across and use an emory board to soften sharp edges. We can also trim your toenails for you.
If you’re sitting, prop up your feet to keep the blood flowing more easily. If you can’t prop up your feet, at least wiggle your toes every few minutes.
If you find corns or calluses during your regular foot check, bring them to our attention. Don’t try to remove them yourself as you may cause cuts. Over-the-counter products designed to remove corns and calluses can burn the skin.
Avoid self-treatment for other foot issues, including ingrown toenails, plantar warts, and toenail fungus. We can effectively and safely treat these foot problems without causing serious complications for your feet.
Well-fitting shoes that support your feet are a must if you have diabetes. We can recommend the best styles for you and provide custom orthotics if you need extra support or padding.
If you have diabetes, schedule at least one yearly exam at a podiatrist’s office. If you have peripheral neuropathy, or nerve damage, we may suggest more frequent visits.
At your foot exams, we comprehensively evaluate your feet and check the feeling and blood flow in your feet. Staying on top of foot problems can prevent serious infection or amputation.
Patients needing a skilled and trusted podiatry practice should call Momentum Foot and Ankle Clinic today. We offer care for diabetic foot problems and other foot and ankle concerns. Call today or use the online tool to schedule your appointment.