An individual with diabetes does not metabolize
sugar properly. Toxic by-products can result. Sugar builds up in the
blood and tissues, and causes many changes to occur in the body.
Diabetes lowers resistance to infection and decreases the circulation
and sensation in the feet.
Proper care of the feet is of utmost importance to
diabetics, since their feet often do not have normal sensitivity. Minor
problems, if neglected, can become major.
People with mild cases of diabetes, who have good
circulation and controlled blood sugar, should have a podiatrist inspect
their feet once a year. If you have more severe diabetes, a podiatrist
should inspect your feet at least every six months.
Taking proper care of your feet is always
important, but in diabetics it is essential. Bathe your feet daily in
lukewarm, not hot, water, using mild soap. After thoroughly rinsing, dry
them gently using a soft towel and a blotting technique. Pay special
attention to the skin between the toes, using a cotton tip applicator to
dry, if necessary, rather than spreading the toes and risk tearing the
skin. Inspect your feet
carefully using a mirror, if necessary, to view the soles of your feet.
Cushioned, absorbent socks or stockings are
recommended. They should be the correct size and be free of seams or
darns. Change your socks every day. If necessary, wear loose woolen
socks at night to keep your feet warm.
Exercise is one of the best ways to keep your feet
in good condition. Your podiatrist may recommend special exercises.
Toenails should be cut straight across.
Diabetic feet often lose their sense of feeling and
severe burns or other injuries can occur without the person realizing
it. Inspect your feet every day. If you notice any redness, swelling,
sores, or cracks in the skin, consult your podiatrist. In addition, you
should avoid the following:
Exposure to cold or excessive sunlight.
Cutting corns and calluses with a razor blade or knife.
Wearing circular elastic garters or tight elastic type
Hot water bottles, heating pads, or hot water on the feet.
(If necessary have someone else test it, or use a bath thermometer.)
Cut-out shoes or sandals.
Strong antiseptic or chemical applications to your feet.
In summation, always see your physician and
podiatrist at regular intervals. It is essential to keep your diabetes
under control and insure good foot care. Discuss all your foot problems
with your podiatrist promptly. Neglect can lead to serious problems.
Can a podiatrist help you? We make it easy to find
out. Here's how....
The physicians and staff of the A Step Ahead Foot & Ankle Centers
maintain two complete podiatric clinical facilities and provide
24-hour emergency service. We participate in most health plans including
Blue Cross / Blue Shield, Medicare, and Medicaid. We complete and file
all necessary insurance forms and make every effort to assure you of
maximum benefits with minimum out-of-pocket expense.
You are invited to make an appointment today to relieve your foot
problems by calling us at 970-493-4660 or 970-667-0769.