Being diagnosed with diabetes means learning to integrate many routines into your daily life. From checking your blood sugar to administering insulin shots, these important routines keep your disease under control. However, did you know that your feet require a routine of their own? Don’t make the mistake of accidentally neglecting your feet. Learn more about diabetic foot care and its importance with help from your Naperville, IL podiatrist.
Why is diabetic foot care important?
Diabetes is a condition which affects metabolism and insulin levels in your body. Insulin, produced by the pancreas, allows glucose, fuel for the body’s cells, to be properly distributed throughout the body. When the body cannot use this fuel properly and glucose builds up in the bloodstream, it is diagnosed as diabetes.
Diabetes causes a condition called peripheral neuropathy, or nerve damage in the extremities. This makes it hard to feel the feet and toes. Something as simple as a rock in your shoe which causes a cut on your foot could turn into a much more complex situation as you may not feel the pain from it. Additionally, peripheral neuropathy leads to decreased blood flow, making wounds take longer to heal and more prone to infection.
How can I care for my feet properly?
Some tips for proper diabetic foot care include:
- Shake your shoes: The easiest way to avoid injury is to prevent it from happening at all. Be sure to shake out your shoes before putting them on to ensure there is no debris or a sharp object in them.
- Toenails: Ingrown toenails pose a problem for diabetics since peripheral neuropathy mutes the toenail’s pain. Additionally, ingrown toenails are prone to infection. Avoid ingrown toenails by simply cutting them straight across and filing down the edges.
- Inspect: Take time out of each day to give your feet the once-over and check for cuts, bruises, open wounds, irritation, redness and dry or cracked areas.
- Moisturize: Moisturize your feet using an unscented lotion every day to avoid dry patches which can crack, leading to open wounds. Be sure not to get any lotion between your toes, as this area is prone to bacteria buildup.
- See your doctor: This is perhaps the most important tip for maintaining healthy feet. Your doctor can help you determine if your shoes fit correctly, you have any existing problems or if your feet need treatment. Consult your doctor to determine how often you should schedule regular examinations.
If you need more information on diabetic foot care or need to schedule a regular foot examination, Dr. Brendon J. McCarthy, DPM at Fox Valley Foot Specialists can help. Call (630) 548-3900 to speak with an associate today!