Preventing Diabetic Foot Complications
At First Coast Foot and Ankle, we know that patients with diabetes have to take special care of their feet. Diabetes delivers a double whammy to your feet. Many patients with this disease suffer from neuropathy or nerve damage. Neuropathy can cause loss of sensation in your feet, making it difficult to detect injuries or disorders. Reduced circulation is also often associated with diabetes as well. This means that once an injury or wound occurs, it is difficult for healing to happen, greatly increasing the risk for infection and even amputation.
Our podiatrists, Dr. Vimal A. Reddy and Dr. Jeffrey Brimmer, are your partners in managing your diabetes. Regular checkups can help the foot doctor catch foot problems in their earliest stages.
Here are some other ways that you can prevent diabetic complications:
- Avoid sitting in front of heaters, using electric blankets and hot water heaters. Your feet can get badly burned because you don’t perceive the heat.
- Wash your feet daily with mild soap and warm water.
- Dry your feet completely by gently patting (not rubbing) feet with a towel. Pay particular attention to the spaces between your toes—that’s where athlete’s foot often starts.
- Choose shoes that are made of soft, flexible materials and that have roomy toe boxes. Periodically run your hand around the inside of your shoes to check for loose stitching, small pebbles or rough patches that can cause blisters or sores.
- Don’t use harsh chemicals, antiseptic solutions or other over-the-counter products to treat corns, calluses and warts. Never try to shave down corns or attempt any “bathroom surgeries.” These could result in injury and infection.
- Take care to keep nails trimmed short (but not too short), with edges filed straight across. Do not cut or file curved edges or you may increase the risk of an ingrown toenail.
- Don’t sit cross-legged for long periods of time as this may further impede circulation.