At Texas Foot Specialists we believe in educating our patients on preventive foot care. Diabetic patients can especially help manage the disease rather than allowing it to manage them. Due to issues with nerve damage, poor circulation and immune system dysfunction (all conditions associated with diabetes) wounds and injuries to the feet pose a much greater health threat to patients with diabetes.
Preventing Wounds and Complications
The first and foremost step our podiatrists, Dr. Gregory Magnum and Dr. Bruce Miller stress is keeping your diabetes under control. Following your physician’s instructions and keeping blood sugar levels where they should be will go a long toward preventing many complications. Other tips include:
- Don’t smoke. Smoking impedes circulation, something that is most likely an issue if you have diabetes. Circulation helps with blood flow and healing.
- Be on the lookout for changes in your feet. Rashes, bruises, swelling and a difference in the shape or appearance of your feet can all signal a potential wound or ulcer forming. Seemingly minor conditions such as blisters, corns or an ingrown nail can quickly become major health problems for the diabetic patient. Report any changes you find to your foot doctor without delay.
- No “bathroom surgery.” Do not attempt to shave corns or calluses or remove an ingrown nail using scissors or any sharp instruments on your feet. All too often this results in cuts and infections.
- Buy properly fitting shoes. Look for styles that have a spacious toe box and are made of flexible, breathable materials. Check your shoes periodically for loose stitching or bumps inside the shoe that could rub on your skin and cause a blister. Avoid high heels.
- Don’t go barefoot. This will reduce your risk of bacterial infections like athlete’s foot since these are spread by direct contact. It will also greatly lessen the chance of your getting a cut or puncture wound from stepping on a sharp object.
- Schedule regular podiatrist appointments. Your podiatrist can advise you on routine care for your feet and also check for potential conditions that could lead to ulcers or sores.