Diabetes affects nearly 11.3% of the American population. Diabetes can have a significant impact on the health of your feet. High blood sugar levels can damage the nerves and blood vessels in your feet, leading to reduced blood flow and sensation. This can make it difficult to feel cuts, sores, and blisters on your feet, which can then develop into more severe complications, such as infections, foot ulcers, and even amputation.
However, with the right care and attention, you can help prevent these complications and keep your feet healthy. Here are some tips for how to care for your feet when you have diabetes:
Tips for Taking Care of Diabetic Feet
- Check your feet daily: Make it a habit to inspect your feet every day for cuts, sores, blisters, swelling, and any other signs of damage or infection. Use a mirror or ask someone else to check the areas that are difficult to see, like the soles of your feet.
- Keep your feet clean and dry: Wash your feet with warm water and mild soap every day, and dry them thoroughly, especially between your toes. Moisture can lead to fungal infections, so it's important to keep your feet dry.
- Moisturize your feet: Use a moisturizer to keep your skin soft and prevent cracking, but avoid putting it between your toes, as it can lead to excess moisture.
- Trim your toenails carefully: Cut your toenails straight across, and avoid cutting them too short or cutting the corners. If you have trouble reaching your feet, consider asking a podiatrist for help.
- Wear appropriate footwear: Choose shoes that fit well and provide good support. Avoid shoes that are too tight, too loose, or have high heels. Always wear socks with your shoes, and choose socks made of breathable materials.
- Protect your feet: Wear shoes or slippers at all times, even indoors. Avoid walking barefoot, especially outside.
- Avoid extreme temperatures: Don't use hot water bottles, heating pads, or other sources of heat on your feet. Also, avoid exposing your feet to extreme cold, as this can damage the nerves and blood vessels.
- Don't smoke: Smoking can damage your blood vessels and reduce blood flow to your feet, increasing the risk of complications.
- Get regular foot exams: Regular visits to a podiatrist are essential for people with diabetes to maintain healthy feet. Podiatrists specialize in foot care and can help identify and manage any foot problems associated with diabetes, such as nerve damage, circulation issues, infections, and foot ulcers. They can also provide advice on proper footwear, foot hygiene, and self-care strategies to prevent further damage or complications. Podiatrists can detect any foot problems early, before they become more serious and require more invasive treatment, such as surgery or amputation. Overall, regular podiatry visits are an important part of diabetes management and can help ensure that your feet remain healthy and strong for years to come.
In conclusion, taking care of your feet when you have diabetes is crucial to prevent complications and maintain your overall health. By following these simple tips, you can keep your feet healthy and reduce the risk of developing more severe foot problems.
If you are looking for a podiatrist to help maintain healthy feet, Advanced Foot & Ankle Center has locations in South Ogden, Bountiful, Salt Lake City, Sugarhouse, St. Mark's, West Jordan, Provo, Nephi, Park City, Heber, and St. George. We have 12 podiatrists who are happy to serve any of those locations and their surrounding areas.
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Advanced Foot & Ankle Center
Advanced Foot & Ankle Center is a team of 12 podiatrists located throughout Utah dedicated to providing the best foot and ankle care.