Diabetes is a medical condition that does not only require constant care of your blood sugar levels but also your feet. This is because diabetics are at risk for developing serious foot conditions. Uncontrolled diabetes can lead to nerve damage and poor circulation in the extremities. Complications from diabetes makes wound healing difficult and makes it easier for infection to set in.
Foot wounds are harder to detect because of their location. Early detection is difficult because it is an area which does not receive the same level of attention as other body parts. It is estimated that 20% to 25% of diabetic hospital related admissions are foot-related which makes it a special concern for diabetics and their doctors.
Dr. John Schilero is a podiatrist who specializes in helping people with diabetes identify early symptoms and reduce further complications.
Diabetic Foot Care Checklist
a. Regular foot checks - Check your feet daily for wounds, blisters, redness, swelling and other conditions that might lead to injury. Use a mirror or ask a family member for help especially for those with poor eyesight or unable to bend down.
b. Wash your feet with lukewarm water and ensure that they are dry, especially the areas in-between the toes.
c. Moisturize your feet – Use lotion or petroleum jelly on the top and bottom of your feet , but stay away from in-between toes.
d. Gentle care for corns and calluses - With the use of a pumice stone, gently smoothen corns and calluses.
e. Weekly trimming of toenails - Trim your toenails properly by cutting it straight across, and file the rough edges.
f. Foot wear - Keep your shoes and socks dry. Wear correct fitting shoes to prevent unnecessary friction between the skin and shoes. Ensure that there are no objects inside your shoes before putting them on.
g. Never ever walk barefoot even at your home. Do not expose your feet to extreme hot and extreme cold temperatures. Wear shoes at the beach or in a hot pavement.
h. Socks should be made of cotton or wool. Wear socks to protect your feet during cold nights.
i. Practice an active lifestyle. Move your toes and ankles up and down every 5 minutes for 2-3 times a day. This promotes better blood circulation.
j. Stop smoking and eat healthy. Smoking can damage small blood vessels in the feet.
k. Eat right and control your sugar levels - High levels of sugar in the blood can damage both the nerves and blood vessels.
At Palm Beach Orthopaedic Institute located in West Palm Beach, Palm Beach Gardens, Jupiter and Wellington, we specialize in helping people suffering from foot injuries. To schedule an appointment, call 561-694-7776 EXT. 2112.