Patients with diabetes have to be extra careful with the health of their feet. Since your feet are the part of your body farthest from the heart, issues involving circulation and healing (two systems that are impaired by the disease) are particularly threatening. Add to this neuropathy, or nerve damage, also commonly associated with diabetes, and the risk is compounded by not being able to detect injuries and infections in their early stages. There is good news, however. By developing and sticking to a preventive foot care regimen we at Paul Klein, DPM, FACFAS, have seen patients have great success at keeping diabetic foot problems at bay. Here are some important tips for keeping your feet safe:
- Carefully monitor your blood sugar levels and follow all your doctor’s orders for managing your diabetes.
- Don’t smoke—this further impairs circulation.
- Get in the habit of inspecting your feet every day for changes in color, shape, size or unusual growths, lumps or rashes. Be sure to report anything suspicious to our podiatrist, Dr. Paul Klein as soon as you first notice it.
- Wash your feet daily using warm (not hot) water and a mild soap. Dry completely, especially between your toes (this will help prevent athlete’s foot).
- Change your socks every day and more than once a day if you tend to sweat profusely. Keeping your feet dry is key in avoiding fungal skin and nail infections.
- Trim toenails short (but not too short) and cut straight across to keep ingrown toenails from developing.
- Wear shoes that fit properly and do not squeeze the toes or rub anywhere on the toes or heels.
- If corns or calluses form on your feet do not try to remove on your own! Let the podiatrist care for them.
- Don’t go barefoot—this greatly increases your risk of injury and contracting fungal infections.
Regular exams by the foot doctor should also be part of your care regimen. If you have additional questions or concerns about diabetic foot care, contact our Wayne office today by calling: (973) 595-1555.