podiatrist giving diabetic foot exam to patientOne of the most critical aspects of managing diabetes is taking care of your feet. However, many people may not understand the importance of good foot health and end up dealing with serious complications down the road. Here, we discuss diabetic foot care and why it's so important to get professional guidance and treatment.

What Is Diabetic Foot Care and Why Is it Important?

Diabetic foot care is a branch of podiatry that focuses on the treatment and prevention of foot-related problems in people with diabetes. Diabetes can cause many problems for the feet, including neuropathy (nerve damage), poor circulation, and ulcers. A strong diabetic foot care management program can help prevent problems from developing, and it can also provide treatment for existing problems.

Diabetes can cause problems with the feet for several reasons. Poor blood circulation can lead to nerve damage, and this can cause loss of sensation in the feet. This can make it difficult to notice when there is an injury, and wounds can take longer to heal. In addition, diabetes can also cause changes in the structure of the feet, making them more susceptible to deformities and injuries.

When You Don't Take Complications of Diabetic Foot Care Seriously

The importance of diabetic foot care for people with diabetes cannot be stated enough. Poor foot care can lead to serious complications, including ulcers, infections, and Charcot's foot. Ulcers are a common complication of diabetes patients and can occur on the feet, legs, or hands. If left untreated, ulcers can become infected, which can lead to serious health problems. Infections can also cause Charcot foot, a condition that results in the breakage of bones and loss of sensation in the feet. Charcot foot can be extremely painful and can eventually lead to amputation. As a result, it is important for people with diabetes to take care of their feet and to see a podiatrist if they have any concerns.

How to Properly Care for Your Feet When You Have Diabetes

It is not uncommon for diabetic patients to be unaware that they have any current foot issues. If you struggle to view all areas of your foot, it's essential to have your doctor, loved one, or caregiver regularly provide a thorough inspection. If no one is available, you can use a mirror on the floor to help you inspect your feet regularly.

Feet should be washed with soap and water and dried daily. Moisturizer can help keep skin soft, but be careful not to rub lotion between toes where bacteria could form. Diabetic patients should also wear properly fitting shoes and avoid walking barefoot. Currently, there are shoes specially designed for those with diabetes, and many government programs assist in purchasing them. Speak to your doctor or caregiver about your options.

If you have any cuts or sores on your feet, it is important to take proper precautions and see a doctor or podiatrist right away. If you can't see a specialist right away, keep the area clean and protected at all times and recognize if symptoms improve or worsen.

When to See Us for Diabetic Foot Care

There are several signs that it is time to see your podiatrist, including:

  • Pain, numbness, redness, or swelling in the feet.
  • Cuts or blisters that won't heal.
  • Nails become thickened, deformed, or discolored.
  • Your feet or ankles seem to have shifted or have structural damage.

Diabetic foot care is an important part of managing diabetes and keeping the feet healthy. If you are diabetic, it is important to take care of your feet properly and to see a podiatrist if you have any concerns. Developing a process of keeping your feet clean and healthy can go a long way to helping prevent serious complications.

If you have questions or need to speak to someone about your diabetic foot care, contact us at Third Coast Foot and Ankle in New Berlin or Oak Creek, WI.