Proper diabetic foot care is essential for preventing possible wounds in your lower limbs (and ensuring prompt medical care when problems occur). Diabetic foot care is centered on both protecting your feet and making sure you know what is happening down there. Why is this so important? Well, hopefully we’re telling you something you already know if you have diabetes, but the disease puts you at risk for dangerous diabetic foot ulcers – which have increased risk of amputation and can even threaten your life.
When they are in early stages, you can come see us for treatment of wounds—basically anything out of the ordinary that could potentially lead to ulceration (including blisters, ingrown toenails, corns and calluses, warts, cuts, and scrapes)—but it is better to simply prevent them. The best way to prevent them is to use the following measures:
- Inspect your feet daily. Every single day you should check your feet for cuts, cracks, blisters, tenderness, redness and swelling. If you are unable seeing and feeling your feet (with your hands), you may need to either enlist the help of a loved one or use a mirror.
- Wash your feet daily. In addition to a daily foot inspection, you also need to wash your lower limbs every day in lukewarm water (not hot!). After, be gentle, but thorough, when drying them. Make sure to dry between the toes! Dryness is essential for reducing infection risk—since bacteria, viruses, and fungi need moisture to survive—so we may recommend talcum powder or cornstarch be used between the toes to keep the area dry. At the same time, you need to prevent cracks developing from dry skin, so moisturize the tops and bottoms of your feet with a cream or lotion. Need a recommendation for specific types? Contact our office and we will be glad to help.
- Don't remove calluses or other foot lesions yourself. One of the biggest mistakes diabetic individuals make is trying to handle calluses, plantar warts, and other issues on their own using nail files, clippers, scissors, or chemical wart removers. Instead of trying to do it on your own, request an appointment with our team and let us do it safely for you.
- Don't go barefoot. To reduce your risk of sustaining injury to your feet, don't go barefoot, even around the house. Further, make sure to check your socks and shoes before putting them on (to make sure there isn’t anything inside).
- Wear diabetic shoes and socks. If you have diabetes, your feet need special protection. Choosing the right kinds of socks and shoes will protect your feet, whereas the wrong ones can potentially cause damage. When you see us, we can make sure you are choosing the correct types of diabetic footwear.
- Schedule regular foot checkups. You should definitely see us when issues develop, but it is important to come in for regular foot exams at least on an annual basis. Depending on the nature of your case, we may recommend more frequent visits.
Remember, we are a team in your fight against the serious medical emergencies that can be caused by diabetes. Call (480) 963-9000 and request your appointment with Advanced Foot & Ankle Specialists of Arizona today.