The numbness from nerve damage (neuropathy) is an unfortunate complication for diabetic patients. Since it is difficult or impossible to feel the pain of an injury or blisters, even minor scratches can become infected due to the decreased blood flow and lowered immune response. If the spreading goes too far before it is noticed you could be facing amputation.
These are 5 essential foot care tips for patients who have diabetes:
- Correct toenail trimming technique—When trimming your toenails be careful to avoid causing any scratches or cuts. Better yet, have your toenails trimmed at your podiatrist’s office if you are worried about cutting yourself. If you do trim them yourself, leave them a little long and cut straight across to help avoid an ingrown toenail.
- Properly fitted shoes and orthotic inserts—Diabetic footwear and orthotic inserts will provide the best cushioning and support and can isolate any wounds so they heal more quickly.
- Daily foot inspections—Check your feet every day to look for any scrapes, blisters, or cuts and treat them immediately to avoid a bacterial or fungal toenail infection. If you have trouble seeing the bottom of your feet, use a mirror. Also be sure to look between the toes.
- Wash and dry your feet at least once a day—Make certain to wash your feet daily with a mild soap and dry them carefully. Be sure not to forget the areas between the toes where microbes can remain hidden.
If you are experiencing foot problems from diabetes see your foot doctor for the proper care. At Your Next Step, our team of board-certified podiatrists has access to advanced technologies, along with years of experience, to help diagnose and treat a variety of foot and ankle problems, including sports injuries, joint pain, toe deformities, nail fungus, chronic tendon pain, and skin problems. Dr. Eric Ricefield, Dr. Mark Yagodich and Dr. Aliza V. Eisen provide high-quality foot and ankle care to patients in the greater Philadelphia area at our offices conveniently located in Ardmore, Paoli, Woodlyn, and Downingtown. Please contact us for more information or to schedule an appointment.