Da Vinci Foot and Ankle is proud to offer diabetic foot care services to our patients. Diabetes can cause a plethora of damage to the body including nerve damage (also referred to as neuropathy). This damage can cause patients to lose feeling in their feet, making it difficult for them to notice small sores or injuries incurred during the day. This can lead to more serious problems down the road if a proper foot-care routine isn’t established.
We encourage our patients with diabetes to take care of their feet by getting routine foot care in our offices once every two to three months (make your routine appointment here). It is also very important for diabetic patients to care for their feet properly at home. We’ve put together a list of our most encouraged guidelines to abide by below. Please do not hesitate to call our office and meet with one of our Doctors if you feel you are at risk or are dealing with diabetic symptoms.
GUIDELINES FOR DIABETICS
Per the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons, in order to avoid serious foot problems that could result in losing a toe, foot, or leg, you should be sure to follow the following guidelines:
- Inspect your feet daily. Check for cuts, blisters, redness, swelling, or nail problems. Use a magnifying hand mirror to look at the bottom of your feet. Call your doctor if you notice anything.
- Wash your feet in lukewarm (not hot!) water. Keep your feet clean by washing them daily. But only use lukewarm water—the temperature you’d use on a newborn baby.
- Be gentle when bathing your feet. Wash them using a soft washcloth or sponge. Dry by blotting or patting—and make sure to carefully dry between the toes.
- Moisturize your feet—but not between your toes. Use a moisturizer daily to keep dry skin from itching or cracking. But DON’T moisturize between the toes—this could encourage a fungal infection.
- Cut nails carefully—and straight across. Also, file the edges. Don’t cut them too short, since this could lead to ingrown toenails.
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- Never trim corns or calluses. No “bathroom surgery”—let your doctor do the job.
- Wear clean, dry socks. Change them daily.
- Avoid the wrong type of socks. Avoid tight elastic bands (they reduce circulation). Don’t wear thick or bulky socks (they can fit poorly and irritate the skin).
- Wear socks to bed. If your feet get cold at night, wear socks. NEVER use a heating pad or hot water bottle.
- Shake out your shoes and inspect the inside before wearing. Remember, you may not feel a pebble—so always shake out your shoes before putting them on.
- Keep your feet warm and dry. Don’t get your feet wet in snow or rain. Wear warm socks and shoes in winter.
- Never walk barefoot. Not even at home! You could step on something and get a scratch or cut.
- Take care of your diabetes. Keep your blood sugar levels under control.
- Don’t smoke. Smoking restricts blood flow in your feet.
- Get periodic foot exams. See your podiatric foot and ankle surgeon on a regular basis for an examination to help prevent the foot complications of diabetes.
It is important to remember that foot health is the foundation for overall health and wellness. Routine foot care is an important aspect of managing your diabetes. If you have any questions regarding diabetes and foot health, please feel free to contact our offices and schedule an appointment.