At Paul S. DeMarco, DPM, we know that patients with diabetes have special foot needs and concerns. There are several conditions associated with diabetes that put feet at risk for serious medical problems. Many diabetic patients experience some nerve damage, also known as neuropathy. Neuropathy can reduce sensation in the feet making it difficult to feel pain or temperature changes. This means that injuries, sores or blisters are more likely to go unnoticed in these patients. Another unfortunate component of diabetes is problems with circulation. This means that when an injury or infection occurs it can be extremely slow to heal. In the worst case scenario, an infection that cannot be controlled can spread to the bone and eventually lead to amputation.
The good news is that having a good foot care regimen in place can greatly reduce the risk of foot problems associated with diabetes. If you have diabetes be sure to follow these steps to avoid dangerous foot conditions:
- First, be sure to have regularly scheduled checkups with our podiatrist, Dr. Paul S. DeMarco. This will help ensure that problems are spotted early and quickly treated.
- Inspect your feet daily. Many times there are early warning signs of foot issues. Be sure to look for changes in skin color or temperature, dry or cracked skin, blisters, redness, swelling, corns or calluses, changes in toenails and report anything unusual to the foot doctor at once.
- Wash feet every day with a mild soap. Dry completely and apply a rich moisturizer to keep skin from getting dry. Avoid moisturizing between your toes to help lower your risk of fungal infection.
- Choose absorbent socks that draw moisture away from your skin and change them more than once a day if you sweat profusely.
- Make sure shoes fit comfortably, provide good shock absorption in the sole and do not rub or cause friction on any part of your toes, feet or ankles.
- Keep your diabetes under control by watching your diet and following your doctor’s instructions. Avoid smoking too because it negatively impacts your circulation.
Remember, your foot doctor is your partner in diabetes management when it comes to keeping your feet healthy. If you have any concerns about something you’ve noticed with your feet, don’t hesitate to contact our Somers Point office by calling: (609) 927-4894.