How to Care for Your Feet While Managing Diabetes

Diabetes is a chronic disease that can affect many aspects of your health, especially your feet. If you have diabetes, daily foot care needs to be a priority to prevent infections and permanent damage.

 

At Alpine Foot & Ankle, double board-certified podiatrist and foot and ankle surgeon Scott Shelton, DPM, offers comprehensive diabetic foot care services to patients throughout Sandy and Highland, Utah.

 

While you need to take care of your feet every day, you also need the help of a skilled podiatrist like Dr. Shelton to lower your risk for ulcers and diabetic complications.

 

How diabetes affects your feet

 

Diabetes is a chronic condition that affects how your body processes sugar from your diet. Typically, you produce the hormone insulin to regulate your blood sugar levels. If your body can’t produce insulin (Type 1 diabetes) or doesn’t produce enough insulin (Type 2 diabetes), sugar levels in your blood can remain high.

 

Uncontrolled blood sugar levels can lead to nerve damage, especially in your legs and feet. When these nerves are damaged, you may not feel pain sensations when you get a cut or suffer another injury to your foot.

 

Ignoring foot injuries can lead to infections, open sores, and ulcers. When you have diabetes, these issues can be slow to heal and progress further, causing tissue death (gangrene). When your tissue dies, it may require amputation of your toes or feet to prevent the condition from spreading.

 

Daily care tips for diabetic feet

 

The most important thing you should do when you have diabetes is to ensure your condition is well-controlled. This may involve lifestyle and diet changes and regular testing of your blood sugar levels. You may also need to take medications or daily insulin injections.

 

When it comes to diabetic foot care, we recommend:

 

Daily foot checks

 

Since you may not feel the injuries when they happen, part of your daily routine should include daily foot checks to identify cuts, cracks, blisters, or other injuries.

 

Inspect all parts of your feet, including between the toes. If you cannot see any part of your foot, use a mirror or ask a loved one for help.

 

Good foot hygiene

 

Good foot hygiene can reduce your risk of infection. Wash your feet daily in warm water and dry them thoroughly. Apply a high-quality moisturizer to the top and bottom of your foot to keep your skin soft and hydrated.

 

When you trim your nails, cut them straight across and file away sharp edges to prevent ingrown toenails.

 

Pick the right footwear

 

Wear shoes that fit well and are lightweight and breathable. To prevent toenail fungus, don’t go barefoot, especially in community pools or other public areas.

 

You should also avoid wearing shoes or socks when they’re damp to prevent infections like athlete’s foot.

 

Treatment for wounds

 

If you notice any wounds on your feet, no matter how small, schedule an appointment at Alpine Foot & Ankle. We can evaluate your injury and treat it properly to prevent infection and painful ulcers.

 

You may also need to schedule preventive foot checks at our office, so Dr. Shelton can monitor any changes that occur in your skin or toenails.

 

Call the Alpine Foot & Ankle office in Sandy or Highland, Utah, to schedule a diabetic foot care appointment or book a consultation online today.

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