Proactive Diabetic Foot Care
The Importance of Proactive Foot Care
For diabetics, practicing proactive prevention techniques is critical in avoiding such complications. Diabetics should inspect their feet daily, looking for any cuts, redness, swelling, or changes in temperature. They should also clean and dry their feet thoroughly before putting on socks and shoes.
Proactive foot care means knowing what could happen and how to treat the problems before they start.
How Diabetes Can Cause so Much Trouble for Your Feet
Under normal circumstances, our feet are already more likely to get injured than other parts of our body:
- It is harder for blood to reach the feet than other parts of the body. This is because they are farther away from the heart. Cells need food and growth factors in the blood to fix themselves. If there are problems with blood flow, it will take longer to heal.
- You might not look at your feet, especially the bottoms of your feet, closely very often. We use our sense of touch to feel if something has happened.
Complications from Diabetes
Complications from diabetes can cause even more issues. For example:
- If you have an injury on your foot, it will take longer to heal if you don’t have it treated.
- The nerves in your feet can become damaged, which means you might not be able to feel anything. You might hurt your foot or get a wound and not even know it.
Even a small cut can get worse and become an ulcer. The longer it takes to heal, the more likely it is to get infected. This can cause a lot of other problems.
Preventative Diabetic Foot Care
Regular foot examinations are necessary to identify any potential problems before they worsen. If you have diabetes, contact our office to have your feet examined regularly. Additionally, check your feet daily and look for blisters, cuts, ingrown toenails, redness, or swelling.
Wear properly fitting shoes that cushion and protect the feet from injury. Avoid walking barefoot, and wear socks or stockings designed to reduce friction. If you notice any discomfort while wearing shoes, select a different style that fits better.
Things to Look for During an Inspection
Keeping the skin hydrated and clean is essential for preventing infection. Moisturize your feet daily with a thin layer of cream or lotion, making sure to avoid the areas between your toes. Wash your feet daily, and dry them thoroughly before applying cream or lotion.
Make sure to not put too much lotion in the toe areas, which can lead to fungal infections such as athlete’s foot or toenail fungus.
If you have trouble looking at the bottom of your feet, you can place a mirror on the floor and inspect them for sores, cuts, or discoloration. If you see an issue, contact our office as soon as possible about treatment.
First Aid for Wounds
When treating your feet, even a small wound can cause significant discomfort. Luckily, you can clean up minor injuries and prevent infection with proper first aid.
Start by washing the area with soap and water or an antiseptic solution and gentle rubbing. Consider using hydrogen peroxide, known for its antioxidant properties that help fight bacteria.
Once you have thoroughly washed the wound, cover it lightly with a sterile bandage or gauze pad and secure it with medical tape.
Finally, elevate your feet to reduce swelling and take an over-the-counter anti-inflammatory if needed. These steps can help ensure that your feet stay healthy and pain-free!
Professional Diabetic Foot Care
McVay Foot & Ankle is a professional podiatry office that specializes in diabetic foot care. We can explain all the nuances of diabetic health and can discuss any particular concerns or complications that you might have with you.
We can also book regular checkups each year and make sure you keep up with any additional treatments that are recommended. If needed we can provide you with a custom-fitted brace or custom orthotics that can help alleviate any discomfort or pain that may be associated with neuropathy or abnormal foot structures brought on by diabetes.
The most important member of your diabetic care team is you! Managing your condition by monitoring and controlling your sugar levels, blood pressure, and cholesterol will significantly lower your risk of nerve damage and poor circulation in your feet.
Unfortunately, even with vigilant care, sometimes wounds develop that must be addressed.
At McVay Foot & Ankle, we provide high-quality, in-office wound care for diabetic sores and ulcers. Due to faster availability and aggressive treatment protocols, we can often see you earlier and help you heal faster than you would by going to a local wound care center.
Let Us Partner With You in Your Diabetic Foot Care!
We want to help you keep your feet and legs as healthy and functional as possible. We can provide checkups, new shoes, custom orthotics, treatment for nerve damage or infected wounds, and more. We want to help you keep your feet in great shape for your lifetime!
If you have an existing diabetic foot concern, or you’re just overdue for your annual checkup, please give us a call today at 719-266-5000, or fill out our online contact form. Let’s partner together to keep your feet healthy!
Get Our Running Guide Today!
In our guide, you’ll learn more about:
- The benefits of a well-planned running routine
- When you should see a doctor if you have concerns or an injury
- How fast you should progress
- The best shoes to get for your feet
- The best food for recovery
Inside, you’ll also receive a running calendar that can help you get started for a 5K run!
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