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.
At New Orleans Podiatry Associates, we recommend the following tips for keeping your feet healthy and preventing foot complications:
- Wash your feet daily. Keep feet clean with mild soap and lukewarm water and dry them thoroughly.
- Moisturize. Moisturize daily to keep dry skin from cracking and avoid putting lotion between your toes as this may cause infection.
- Trim your toenails carefully. Cut straight across, avoiding the corners; visit our office for assistance.
- Never treat corns or calluses on your own. Visit your podiatrist for treatment.
- Protect your feet from hot and cold.
- Keep the blood flowing in your feet and legs. Elevate your feet when sitting; don't sit cross-legged; and stay active.
- Inspect your feet every day. Check your feet for cuts, redness, swelling and nail problems. Contact New Orleans Podiatry Associates if you notice anything unusual--even the slightest change.
- Avoid smoking. Smoking restricts blood flow in the feet.
- Wear comfortable, supportive shoes and never walk barefoot.
- Visit New Orleans Podiatry Associates for regular exams. Seeing a podiatrist at our New Orleans office regularly can help prevent diabetic foot problems.
At New Orleans Podiatry Associates, we understand that living with diabetes can be challenging. Let's discuss simple ways you can reduce your risk of foot injuries. We'll 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.