We’ve all heard how men are from Mars and women are from Venus and the differences that causes (like never stopping for directions, for example!) But did you know that it has been shown that there are differences in how men and women follow health care instructions? A recent study revealed that men with diabetes are much less likely than women to take all the necessary steps to protect their feet from this disease.
Below are 5 simple steps that we at Paul Klein, DPM FACFAS recommend to help protect feet from problems associated with diabetes:
- Keep toenails trimmed properly—cut nails straight across and not too short. Curved edges and very short nails encourage ingrown toenails. This is painful for anyone and a serious threat for diabetic patients because once the nail punctures the skin harmful bacteria can enter the body and cause an infection.
- Avoid going barefoot—this will help prevent bacterial and fungal infections which are spread by direct contact. It will also greatly reduce the risk of stepping on a sharp object or stubbing a toe. Due to nerve damage caused by the disease, many patients with diabetes are less likely to fully experience pain cues that would signal an injury.
- Dry feet completely after showering—athlete’s foot and other fungal infections thrive in moist, dark places and commonly start between the toes. Not drying your feet well can help set the stage for an itchy infection which could lead to blisters and open sores.
- Check feet daily—one way to head potential foot problems off at the pass is to stop them before they start. Visually inspecting your feet every day will alert you to changes such as bumps, blisters, bruises, swelling and redness which can be an early warning sign that something is wrong.
- Partner with your podiatrist—our podiatrist, Dr. Paul G. Klein, is experienced in treating patients with diabetes. Regular checkups can help patients stay ahead of potential diabetic complications. If you are a diabetic patient and notice anything unusual or concerning about your feet, contact our Wayne office for an appointment by calling: 973-595-1555.