By Bryan M. Sheehan, DPM
February 14, 2014
Category: Podiatry Service
Diabetics: Pay Close Attention to the Health of Your Feet
Diabetes can be dangerous to your feet- even a small cut can lead to severe complications. Nerve damage is a common complication of uncontrolled diabetes, and this may become so severe as to impair all feeling in your feet. Another important complication of which diabetics should be aware is peripheral arterial disease, in which the blood circulation to the feet becomes compromised as a result of uncontrolled diabetes. This makes it harder to heal an injury, protect your feet against an infection, or even walk more than a few blocks. To avoid serious foot problems inspect your feet daily, and visit Dr. Bryan Sheehan, your local podiatrist in Bentonville, for diabetic foot care.
Prevention is the Key to Protection
If you have diabetes, monitoring your feet for unusual symptoms is very important. Look for puncture wounds, bruises, pressure areas, redness, warmth, blisters, ulcers, scratches, cuts, and nail problems. Even the smallest injury can lead to more severe issues, so it is very important to become familiar with your feet.
Some Basic Care for Your Feet Include:
- DON’T SMOKE! Tobacco use and diabetes are the two major risk factors for circulation problems.
- See your podiatrist at least twice a year.
- Check the bathwater before immersing your feet- impaired sensation can lead to severe burns.
- Don’t use antiseptic solutions, drugstore medications, heating pads or sharp instruments on your feet.
- Trim your toenails straight across. Avoid cutting the corners. If you have difficulty maintaining the nails, see your podiatrist.
- If the skin is dry, use a good moisturizer on a daily basis.
- Wear warm socks and shoes in winter. Natural materials, such as wool or cotton, breathe better and will control sweat more effectively than synthetic materials.
- When drying your feet, pat each foot with a towel and be careful between your toes. If the feet have a tendency to sweat, use an antifungal powder.
- Buy shoes that are comfortable without a “breaking in period.” Tight shoes are the leading cause of foot injuries resulting in amputation.
- Following these simple guidelines will help you prevent additional serious complications with your feet. Of course, if you exhibit any complications or changes in your feet, contact Dr. Bryan Sheehan, your local Bentonville podiatrist, immediately.
Warning Signs of a Serious Problem
Persistent pain can be a huge red flag for a serious problem with your feet. If pain is chronic, a trip to your podiatrist will be needed. In addition, choosing proper footwear is vital in preventing issues otherwise poorly fitting shoes will cause even more problems for your feet than you need.
Some diabetic foot problems exist when:
- There is nerve damage
- Poorly fitting shoes are worn
- Poor circulation exists
- There is trauma to the foot in any extremity
- Infections such as ingrown toenails or athlete’s foot are present
How Our Foot Doctor Can Help You
Podiatrists play an extremely important role in preventing and treating complications of the foot in those with diabetes. Your local podiatrist will communicate the risk status of your feet and recommend how often you should make appointments for check-ups. Regular foot care from your podiatrist is an important way to prevent problems from developing.
When something does go wrong with your feet, seek attention from Dr. Bryan Sheehan, your Bentonville, AR foot doctor, immediately. Waiting a few days to see if it goes away before making an appointment is never good and can result in a severe problem. The sooner you seek treatment, the better. Call us today if you experience any complications.