Individuals with diabetes often suffer from foot problems that arise due to two complications of the disease – nerve damage and poor blood circulation. Poor blood flow and lack of sensation in the foot often allow development of small blisters that can lead to serious infections in later stages.
Chronic-nerve damage can also cause cracked skin, which often gives way to opportunistic bacteria to seep in and cause infections. The consequences of such a condition can lead to hospitalization, rigorous course of antibiotics and in some cases amputation of the foot or toes. Thus, it is often advised that the diabetic population should be careful and conduct daily inspections of their feet to prevent such kind of foot problems.
General Care Tips For Diabetic Foot
In this section, we’re going to discuss some general diabetic foot care tips that will help you prevent the problems. These tips include:
Avoid walking barefoot. Since the nerve damage significantly decreases the sensation in the foot, you might not feel when little pebbles or stones will get stuck in your foot. Negligence of such things can lead to severe infections. Always wear slippers when walking to reduce the risk of diabetic foot ulceration.
Keep your foot skin moist and soft. Use lotions every day after bath and before sleeping to keep your foot skin hydrated and supple. Dry and cracked skin is home to many parasites and infections.
Do not forget to trim your toe-nails. Use nail file to clean the corners. If you have ingrown toenails, consult your doctor for proper care.
Avoid using antiseptic solutions, drugstore medications, sharp instruments or heating pads on your feet without consulting your doctor. Keep your feet away from radiators and fireplace.
Try to keep your feet warm. It is advisable to wear loose socks. Wear warm shoes in winters and avoid going out in the rain or snow.
Smoking can damage your blood vessels and also decreases your body’s ability to deliver oxygen. When combined with diabetes, such health complications can significantly increases the risk of amputation of both feet and hands.
Tips For Inspecting Your Feet Every Day
When inspecting your feet, look for bruises, corns or calluses, puncture wounds, pressure areas, redness, warmth, ulcers, blisters and cuts.
It is advised to get someone help from the other person, or use a mirror, incase tour are unable to do it yourself. Inspecting skin breakouts is crucial as a diabetic person may not feel the damage.
Examine each foot for swelling. Charcot is one of the most common foot problems suffered by diabetic patients and people with nerve damage.
Carefully examine the bottom area of your toes and feet. Check the below given six major locations at the bottom of each foot:
- Tip of the big toe
- Base of little toes
- Base of middle toes
- Outside edge of your foot
- Across the ball of your foot
Shoewear For Diabetic Care
For a patient with diabetic foot conditions, choose and wear shoes with the right fitting. Diabetic foot care & shoe fitting are inter-related as poor fitting pair of shoes can cause ulcer and several infections. Our office features an on-site pedorthist and shoe store for this most important reason. Here are some tips for buying right the shoes.
- Buy shoes that feel comfortable and easy to walk in.
- Check how the shoe you have chosen fits in terms of width, back, length, sole and bottom of heel.
- Measure your feet every time you decide to buy new shoes.
- Your foot size and shape change over the years, so make sure you avoid experimenting with different styles of shoes.
- Wear new pair of shoes for not more than 2 hours a day and also avoid wearing the same pair every day.
Most insurance companies cover the cost of orthotics for diabetic people. If you are suffering from diabetic foot, you should immediately consult your doctor or orthopedic surgeon. You can discuss your options with your doctor, to understand the right treatment and prevention.
An accommodative-orthotic is made from soft material – plastazote and commonly prescribed by doctors for diabetic foot. It can be transferred from one shoe to another depending upon the needs of the patient.
Call our Appointment Hotline @ (505) 219-2940 to schedule a consultation.