People with diabetes need to take special care with their feet, since they are especially susceptible to foot problems. Poor circulation and nerve damage (known as neuropathy), are two aspects of the disease that can lead to serious complications. A lack of feeling may keep you from knowing there’s an issue, and even something as small as a scratch can quickly turn into a major concern. That’s why diabetic foot care is so important. At the California Foot and Ankle Institute, you’ll find the expert care you need, including not only diagnosis and treatment, but prevention tips, prescription shoes, and orthotics.
When You Take Care of Yourself, You Take Care of Your Feet
Smoking decreases your body’s ability to deliver oxygen and causes damage to blood vessels. This combined with diabetes greatly increases the risk of amputation, so don’t smoke!
Maintaining a diet and exercise routine is essential for keeping your weight at a healthy level and your blood glucose in check. We can help you develop a nutritional plan as well as an exercise program that best suits your lifestyle. It’s easier to stick with it if you have support, and we at the California Foot and Ankle Institute are here for you!
Because it’s important to catch any foot problems before they become serious, Dr. Garey Lee Weber, D.P.M. recommends that those with diabetes perform foot self-exams on a daily basis. Inspect for things like swelling, redness, and temperature change--all signs of possible problems. Also, look for calluses and corns that often develop on pressure areas like the ball of the foot. If your heels are cracked from dryness, those cracks can get infected, just as cuts and blisters can. If you see any of these signs of trouble, be sure to make an appointment immediately.
If you have diabetes, there are steps you can take to avoid problems that may occur.
- Never go barefoot. Sensation loss can prevent you from realizing you have stepped on a sharp rock or piece of glass. Any abrasion opens the door for infection, so keep this from happening by always wearing shoes.
- Make sure the shoes you wear fit properly to avoid any rubbing that could cause blisters. Also, change your socks every day to keep them clean and dry.
- Keep your toenails trimmed, and when you wash your feet, use warm water and mild soap. Towel your feet off thoroughly, especially between toes where bacteria can build.
- Keep dryness at bay by applying lotion, avoiding between the toes.
- Protect your feet against extreme temperatures, testing bath water for example, before jumping in feet first.
- While sitting, try not to cross your legs for long stretches of time.
If you are having trouble finding shoes that fit properly, Dr. Garey Lee Weber, D.P.M. can assist you by prescribing custom foot wear as well as orthotics, which are inserts placed inside your shoes. These will help keep your feet comfortable and pain-free.
To learn more about diabetic foot care, visit the California Foot and Ankle Institute in Victorville and Irvine, or you can make an appointment online or by calling Dr. Garey Lee Weber, D.P.M. at 949-833-3406. Start taking care of your feet today for a healthier tomorrow.