November has arrived and that doesn’t only mean that Thanksgiving is around the corner. In fact, this month is also dedicated to Diabetes Awareness. Early detection of dangerous foot conditions and diabetic foot care education can help reduce the 73,000 lower limb amputations each year that are caused by complications from diabetes.
Why does Diabetes put your feet at risk?
Diabetes causes increased damage to nerves and the circulatory system. It significantly slows down blood flow to lower extremities often resulting in numbness. Due to the loss of feeling, many patients with diabetes don’t even realize when they have foot pain. Diabetes also makes it hard for the body to fight infection, heal foot wounds, and repair damaged tissues. Even minor cuts can lead to dangerous infections that worsen quickly.
What are the signs of Diabetic foot trouble?
• Changes in skin color and/or temperature
• Swelling in the foot or ankle
• Pain in the legs and feet
• Open sore on the feet
• Slow healing of cuts or open sores
• Ingrown toenails or toenails infected with fungus
• Corns, calluses, or lasting odor
• Dry cracked skin that is often worse on the heel
How do you take care of Diabetic feet at home?
• Wash feet daily with lukewarm water and soap
• Dry feet well especially between the toes
• Apply moisturizing lotion (avoid on toe area)
• Check feet regularly for blisters, cuts, redness (If present, call your doctor right away)
• Trim toenails straight across and not too close to the skin (we recommend seeing a professional for this)
• Change socks daily; avoid dirty and tight socks
• Never walk barefoot either indoors or outside
• Examine your shoes daily for cracks, stones, nails which will irritate feet (most often diabetic shoes are a safe option)
If you or someone you love has diabetes and you have concerns about foot health, we are happy to answer any question or concerns.