Diabetes is one of the top ten diseases in America. Over 29 million people in the United States have diabetes, including pop culture icon Nick Jonas, and Supreme Court Justice Sonya Sotomayor.
Foot care for diabetics is a primary concern, since diabetes can cause numbness and lack of blood flow to the legs and feet. Cuts and sores can go unnoticed, leading to infections. For this reason, those who have diabetes need to pay extra attention to their feet in order to remain healthy. Dr. John Schilero is a podiatrist who specializes in helping people with diabetic foot problems.
How do I take care of my feet if I am a diabetic?
Wash and dry your feet on a daily basis
Don’t soak your feet because that will dry them out, but wash them gently in warm water using mild soap. Lotion the bottom of your feet to prevent them from cracking and use talcum powder between your toes to prevent infections.
Keep your feet covered at all times
Because people with diabetes cannot necessarily feel it if they step on something sharp, it is important to always wear shoes and socks. Make sure your shoes are empty- look in them to ensure no foreign objects that could possibly cut you. Prevent blisters and open sores by avoiding high heels and pointy toes shoes, and by wearing socks or nylons with your shoes.
Trim your toenails regularly
If you can see your feet and reach them comfortably, trim your toenails. However, if you cannot reach your feet, the toenails are thick or yellowed or you cannot feel your feet, have your doctor cut your toenails for you.
Keep the blood flowing to your feet
Don’t wear shoes or socks that are too tight and cut off circulation to your legs and feet. Keep your feet elevated when sitting down and do not cross your legs for long periods of time.
Check your feet every day
Examine your feet every day for cuts or sores, infected toenails or swelling. If you cannot see your feet, use a mirror, or ask a family member/ caregiver to help you out.
At Palm Beach Orthopaedic Institute located in West Palm Beach, Palm Beach Gardens, Jupiter and Wellington, we specialize in helping people suffering from diabetes. To schedule an appointment, call 561-694-7776 EXT. 2112.