We know that living with diabetes isn’t easy. You have to take special care on many fronts to keep the condition under control, from you and your doctor monitoring your blood glucose levels to staying mindful of what you eat.
Diabetes poses special problems to your feet that require the knowledge and care of a skilled podiatrist.
The excellent team at South Florida Foot & Ankle Centers is dedicated to your total foot health. We enjoy partnering with our patients who have diabetes so we can each do our part to support their foot health.
The danger of diabetes for your feet
Diabetes causes circulation problems and a condition called neuropathy, which is nerve damage that affects up to 70% of diabetes patients. This can affect your feet by making them feel numb or tingly, but it can even cause you to lose sensation in your feet.
The circulation issues that diabetes causes can make it difficult to sense when you have a small cut or tear on your foot. This seemingly minor issue can quickly become a major one — in the form of a diabetic ulcer.
If you don’t sense the foot injury, even if it’s absolutely tiny, infection can set in quickly, and you don’t realize that either. This can lead to sepsis, a life-threatening condition that causes tissue and organ damage, and even death if it’s not caught and treated. Toe or foot amputation can also result.
We offer a comprehensive diabetic foot exam, so your doctor can routinely examine your feet closely for any potential problems. Your risk of developing serious complications is then slashed.
That said, there are things you can do to take great care of your feet if you live with diabetes.
Six vital ways to care for your feet if you live with diabetes
When you come to our office, your doctor talks to you about these and other steps you can take to ensure your feet stay healthy.
1. Look at your feet daily
Just a simple daily visual assessment of your feet can do a lot to keep you healthy. Contact us immediately if you notice any bruising, cuts, or cracks, no matter how small. The sooner we can evaluate and treat you, the better.
We offer sophisticated treatments for challenging wounds that include advanced wound care, platelet-rich plasma therapy, and stem cell therapy, an array of regenerative treatments that harness your body’s own healing powers, as well as negative pressure wound therapy, and hyperbaric oxygen therapy.
2. Keep your feet scrupulously clean
You should make washing your feet gently with warm water part of your daily routine. Dry your feet thoroughly and apply lotion on the tops and bottoms of them — but not in between your toes, because this is associated with infection.
3. Be mindful of your shoe and sock choices
You shouldn’t wear ill-fitting shoes, since they can cause injuries. Look for soft, comfortable shoes with wide toe boxes. Get socks without seams, and choose soft or padded ones made from natural fibers like cotton, so your feet can breathe properly.
4. Favor low-impact activities
Be gentle with your feet when you exercise. Movement is important when you have diabetes, but make sure you engage in gentle activities that don’t put your feet at risk, like swimming and walking.
While you’re at it, be sure to change positions regularly and even wiggle your toes periodically to help your feet not to fall asleep.
5. Don’t go barefoot
It may be tempting, especially here in Florida, to pad around your yard barefoot, or inside the house as well. This can lead to a foot injury. Always wear shoes that protect your feet well, whether you’re at home or out and about.
6. Trim your toenails the right way
We recommend that you trim your toenails straight across, gently, to discourage ingrown toenails and other injuries. Remember to gently file your toenails to make sure no jagged edges remain.
We can trim your nails too, if you have any mobility problems that makes this task difficult.
We’re here when you need us
You and your podiatrist are a powerful team when it comes to pampering your feet if you live with diabetes.
Call the South Florida Foot & Ankle Centers office nearest you to set up an appointment for a comprehensive foot exam or to simply talk with a podiatrist about caring for your feet if you have diabetes. We have offices in Royal Palm Beach, Lake Worth, Palm Beach Gardens, Belle Glade, and Jupiter, Florida.
You can also schedule a consultation through our convenient online booking tool. We’re open early mornings, evenings, and Saturdays for your convenience.