The Importance of Diabetic Foot Care
If you are already managing your diabetes, it should come to no surprise that paying extra attention to your feet is a must. Accordingly, if you have felt foot pain or noticed changes in the feeling of your feet, you need to see your local White Plains podiatrist, Dr. Eric Peters—he can provide you with the expertise you need to keep your feet feeling healthy as possible. Read on to learn more about the importance of diabetic foot care.
How can diabetes impact your feet?
As diabetes progresses, it can cause nerve damage known as diabetic neuropathy. This nerve damage may appear in the form of tingly or painful feet, and it may even cause you to lose feeling in your lower extremities. This lost foot feeling can then lead to unnoticed cuts or scrapes on your feet, which in turn can become infected and cause additional health problems.
Diabetes can also affect your blood circulation, prohibiting your lower legs and feet from receiving enough blood flow to keep them healthy. Without this proper blood flow, cuts and scrapes can fail to heal properly, and if left untreated, may develop gangrene. Furthermore, an untreated sore on your foot could eventually require the amputation of a toe or your whole foot if you don't practice proper diabetic foot care.
How to keep healthy feet with diabetes
When you have diabetes, the importance of foot care cannot be stressed enough. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) offer these recommendations for diabetic foot health:
- Wash and check your feet daily. A daily wash and look at your feet can help spot issues early, even when you might not feel any problems.
- Gently smooth calluses and corns. If you have these thick rough patches on your feet, consult with your podiatrist for proper care instructions. They may recommend using a pumice stone to smooth these areas out, preventing them from becoming foot ulcers.
- Trim toenails straight across. After washing and drying your feet, use toenail clippers to cut the nail straight across without cutting off the corners. This helps prevent ingrown nails, which can lead to infection. You can also use an emery board to gently smooth the nails after trimming.
- Always wear socks and shoes. Even when you are indoors, you should keep your feet covered with socks AND shoes to avoid stepping on something and causing an injury to your foot.
- Keep good blood flow to your feet. Wiggle your toes throughout the day, and elevate your feet when sitting, if possible. Increase physical activities such as walking, swimming, or biking, for these increase circulation, but are easy on your feet.
Contact our White Plains office today
The most important step in your diabetic foot care plan is to work with your podiatrist. Have your feet checked regularly, and if you notice any changes in your feet, contact your doctor for an appointment. Call Dr. Eric Peters today at (914) 285-4444 to set up your diabetic foot care appointment in White Plains, NY!