At North Platte Foot Clinic we know that the most common cause for hospitalization among diabetics in the United States is foot infections. Diabetes can be dangerous and devastating to your feet. The most common causes of these foot infections are improperly cut toenails and shoes the don’t fit properly. Something as simple as a visiting one of our Podiatrists to have your toenails cut and shoes custom fitted can avoid many amputations. The combination of those issues as well as poor circulation and lack of feeling known as peripheral neuropathy, and you have some serious problems if you’re diabetic.
Below is a list of what diabetics should do to protect their feet from a sore that can lead to infection and amputation.
1. Inspect your feet daily. If you can’t see your feet,have someone else look at them every day for redness, cuts, swelling, blisters, bruising, or nail problems.
2. Wash your feet daily. Make sure to clean in between your toes and dry them thoroughly.
3. Moisturize your feet daily. Diabetes can cause very dry, flaky skin, so extra moisture is needed.
4. Cut nails carefully, and straight across. If you can see and reach your toes, be careful to cut your toenails carefully. Take your time to make sure you don’t nick yourself or cut them too short. When in doubt, visit us and we can ensure your feet get the care they need.
5. Never trim corns and calluses. And absolutely no corn or callus remover. The package says, “do not use if you are diabetic” for a reason. Visit us and we’ll trim them when they are thickened or red.
6. Wear clean, dry socks. Change your socks daily.
7. Avoid tight or bulky socks. Tight socks canreduce circulation to you feet and bulky socks can bunch up and cause a blister or sore.
8. If your feet are cold, wear clean socks to bed. Never use a heating pad or hot water bottle, you can burn yourself before you realize it.
9. Shake out your shoes and inspect them before you put them on. That ensures that you don’t inadvertently damage your feet.
10. Keep your feet clean and dry.
11. Never go barefoot except when bathing. Not even at home on carpet. You can easily step on something and get an infected puncture wound.
12. Take care of your diabetes. Multiple studies have shown the complications of diabetes can be diminished by keeping your sugars under control. Keep that HgA1c under 6 if you can. Work with your doctor and nutritionist for optimal care.
13. Don’t Smoke. Stop smoking if you do. Every cigarette decreases the circulation to your feet and increases your chance of a non-healing wound.
14. Get periodic foot exams. Come see us at least once a year for a foot exam. If you have neuropathy, poor circulation, a foot deformity or a history of foot ulcers you’ll need more frequent foot exams.
We can’t stress this enough, at North Platte Foot Clinic we’re here to make sure that your feet are healthy and allow you to live the kind of life you want. If you have any questions please contact us.