People with diabetes can develop many different problems with their feet. Even the most common issue could lead to severe complications more quickly than you think. Always inspect your feet and watch for anything you might see as a potential problem. Poor circulation, a pebble in your shoe, or an improperly trimmed toenail can put you at a higher risk for infection.
While I am not a doctor, I can provide you with a list of beneficial practices, useful notes and products that might be of interest and could help maintain your diabetic foot health and wellbeing until your next appointment. Visit your foot care professional regularly to help you most safely manage your condition.
The nerves that naturally control oil and moisture in your foot no longer function. It’s helpful to moisturize your feet, but not between the toes, because the extra moisture can lead to infection. Soaking your feet or keeping them damp can dry your skin and create a breakdown in the foot. Once a break in the skin breakdown occurs, the likelihood of infection is far more prevalent, which could eventually lead to severe complications or even amputation.
Because people with diabetes commonly lose sensitivity in their feet (neuropathy) due to nerve damage. It can also cause loss of feeling in the foot, so you can injure it and not know it. It also makes sensing hot and cold more difficult, so watch for dry, cracked skin or areas of friction (callus) that could result in a blister or ulcer. A foot ulcer commonly occurs on the ball of the foot or the bottom of the big toe. If an ulcer forms on the sides of the feet, it means you are wearing ill-fitting or restrictive shoes. Neglecting ulcers can result in infections, which in turn can lead to loss of a limb. Stay off your feet when possible, then get to a doctor quickly. Do not smoke. Smoking affects small blood vessels and decreases blood blow, making wounds heal at an even slower pace. Other indicators of neuropathy are tingling, pain (burning or stinging), or weakness in the foot.
Peripheral arterial disease or PAD is the primary reduction of blood flow to the feet. Combined with neuropathy, it will slow healing, reduce sensation, and eventually increase the chances of infection and amputation.
Remember to regularly clean and inspect your feet several times a day. Even a small cut can produce serious consequences. Diabetes can cause nerve damage and loss of feeling in your feet. It could also reduce blood flow, making it harder to heal an injury or resist any infection.
Keep your shoes free of debris. Any foreign object in your shoe can result in a blister, a sore that could lead to an infection, or a diabetic wound. An open wound could be resistant to healing for someone with diabetes and even put you at risk for an amputation.
See your Doctor. Seeing a foot specialist or doctor regularly can help prevent the foot complications of diabetes. Always check with your doctor before using any over the counter product.
Take care of your diabetes. Keep your blood sugar levels under control, and it’s a good idea to follow your doctor’s lifestyle recommendations for good health.
If you have questions about any of the diabetic friendly products from PediFix, please reach out to us at pedifix.com or by phone at 1-800-PEDIFIX (733-4349) to speak directly to a product specialist today.
PediFix Medical Footcare. 256 Ways to Relieve Foot Pain.