Bacteria and fungi love the usually moist and dark environment found inside your shoes, and some of them can cause infections when they enter your body through just a small cut on your foot. For individuals whose immune, circulatory, and peripheral nervous systems are compromised by diabetes, a small cut can go unnoticed and quickly turn into an ulcerating wound that could require amputation of a toe or worse.
Some essential foot care tips for patients with diabetes include the following:
- Daily foot inspection—Complete, daily foot inspections are necessary to catch problems like cuts and blisters before they worsen. If you have trouble seeing the entire bottom of your feet, use a mirror. Infections often start between the toes, so make that area a high priority.
- Proper toenail trimming—When trimming your toenails, make them a little long and straight across (or on a slight curve) to help avoid causing an ingrown toenail. Better yet, you should have them cut at your foot doctor’s office to help avoid complications like bleeding and infections.
- Properly fitted shoes and orthotic inserts—Choose from a variety of specially made diabetic footwear at our shoe store. The right shoes combined with orthotic inserts will provide the proper weight distribution, cushioning, and support to treat and prevent wounds and foot ulcers and provide a host of other benefits.
- Cleanliness—Wash your feet at least daily with warm water and soap to remove dirt and microbes. Keep your feet dry with powder and moisture-wicking socks and be sure to air out your shoes by switching them every day.
If you are experiencing foot and ankle problems due to diabetes, see your foot doctor regularly to avoid surprises. 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, and Downingtown, PA. Please contact us for more information or to schedule an appointment.