Diabetes and Foot Health

If you have diabetes, there’s a lot to manage. With the need to check blood sugar levels, focus on eating healthily, take medications, and more, foot care may be the last thing on your mind. Yet, people with diabetes are prone to foot problems, often due to nerve damage and poor circulation.

Continue reading to learn about these complications and how to take care of your feet!

Diabetes Complications

About half of all people with diabetes have nerve damage (neuropathy). This can cause loss of feeling in the feet. While not having the ability to feel discomfort and pain sounds pretty good, it comes at a cost.

Pain tells the body when something is wrong. A cut, blister, or other foot problem could go unnoticed, and small problems can become serious if not treated early.

Poor circulation, meanwhile, can weaken the skin and reduce the body’s ability to heal. This could lead to an infection. In some cases, a part of the leg may need to be amputated to prevent the infection from spreading.

Diabetes Foot Care Guidelines

Taking care of your feet regularly will lower your chances of having diabetes-related foot problems. Here are the guidelines to follow!

Bathe and Moisturize

Wash your feet every day in lukewarm, not hot, water. Dry your feet completely and put lotion on the top and bottom to keep the skin from cracking and itching. It’s important not to moisturize between the toes as this could lead to an infection.

Check Your Feet

Inspect your feet daily for skin or nail problems. Skin problems include blisters, calluses, corns, cuts, discoloration, redness, sores, or swelling. If nail changes develop, they could be deformed, discolored, striped, or yellow. Use a mirror if you can’t see the bottom of your feet.

Do Not Trim Calluses or Corns Yourself

If you have calluses or corns, a podiatrist can use a surgical blade to carefully shave off the thick, dead skin. Do not try this yourself because it could make the area infected.

Never Go Barefoot

To avoid injury, do not walk barefoot, even at home! Always put on a pair of shoes or slippers. Before putting on footwear, check for pebbles or other objects that may have gotten inside, and ensure the lining is smooth.

Trim Your Toenails

Your toenails should be properly trimmed. Cut them straight across and use a nail file to gently smooth any sharp edges.

Wear Comfortable, Well-fitting Shoes

Choose shoes that are comfortable and supportive and have a wide toe box. This extra space can prevent blisters, ulcers, and other foot problems, making them a good choice for people with diabetes.

Visit a Foot Doctor

See your foot doctor regularly. They’ll provide a complete exam, help prevent foot complications, and answer your questions.

Request an Appointment

Don’t let your foot be in pain! Be sure to regularly visit The Foot & Ankle Center. Our knowledgeable podiatrists specialize in a wide range of foot and ankle ailments, including diabetes. They’re able to pinpoint the source of your pain and create a customized treatment plan for you.

Call 314-487-9300 or request an appointment today!