Even the tiniest blister or cut can lead to an infection if you have diabetes. Dr. Brendon McCarthy, your Naperville, IL, diabetic foot doctor, shares information that will help you care for your feet.
Why foot care in Naperville is so important
Diabetes interferes with your body's ability to heal. Although small scratches, blisters or ingrown toenails may have been minor problems before you had the disease, these issues can lead to serious infections now. Since people who have diabetes are at an increased risk of amputation due to infections, daily foot exams are a must. Diabetes can also damage the nerves in your feet, making it difficult or impossible to tell that you have a blister or infection. Taking a look at your feet every day can help you spot those little problems and make sure that they don't get worse.
What signs and symptoms should I look for during my self-exam?
Examine your feet at the same time every day to ensure that you don't forget to perform this important exam. Pay particular attention to these potential signs of a problem:
- Blisters: Blisters can break open and become infected. If you have a blister, place a bandage over it to protect it and avoid wearing the shoes that caused the problem.
- Redness: Red spots can occur if your shoe rubs against your foot. They often precede blisters and are a warning sign that you need to change your footwear. Redness or red streaks can also be a sign of an infection, particularly when they're accompanied by pain or pus. Infections require a visit to your foot doctor.
- Black or Blue Skin: Black skin can occur if the tissues in your foot are dying, while blue or pale skin can be a sign of poor circulation. Call your foot doctor as soon as possible if you notice these signs.
- Calluses: Just like blisters, these seemingly minor skin irritations can cause big problems if they break open and become infected. Since calluses can conceal inflammations under the skin, it's important to get them checked out rather than removing them yourself.
- Tingling and Numbness: Tingling, numbness, burning sensations or a pins and needles sensation can all be signs of nerve damage.
- Ingrown Toenails: Ingrown toenails, even minor ones, can quickly become infected and shouldn't be treated at home.
Prevent diabetic foot complications by conducting self-exams and making regular visits to your podiatrist. Call Dr. McCarthy, your Naperville, IL, diabetic foot doctor, at (630) 548-3900 to schedule an appointment.