Spending more time on foot care is particularly important if you have diabetes. Bentonville, AR and Grove, OK foot doctor Dr. Bryan Sheehan of Ankle & Foot Centers of Mid-America explains why diabetic foot care is crucial and shares a few tips that will help you avoid infections.
How does diabetes increase the risk of infections?
Uncontrolled diabetes can make your feet feel number due to nerve damage. If you can't feel your feet, you won't notice if you get a cut or sore. Diabetes may also be responsible for reduced blood flow to your feet. Because of circulation problems, healing takes longer and your risk of tissue death rises. If you have diabetes, you may also have a higher-than-normal risk of developing bone infections.
What can I do to prevent infections?
There are two steps you can take to ensure that you don't develop an infection:
Perform Self-Exams: Taking a good look at your feet at least once a day can help you identify problem areas, such as blisters, red spots, corns, calluses, ingrown toenails and sores.
Take Corrective Action: If you do notice a blister or red spot, applying a bandage or cushion over the blister or red spot will help prevent the blister from breaking or the spot from becoming a blister or open sore. It's also important to change the shoes you wear if a particular pair rubs against your foot. Orthotics, special shoe inserts custom designed to fit your foot, can help reduce pressure that causes red spots or blisters.
When Should I Call the Foot Doctor?
When you have diabetes, even minor foot problems can quickly become major infections. If you're concerned about a corn or callus, it's best not to try to remove it yourself. Instead, call our Bentonville, AR and Grove, OK offices to schedule an appointment. Ingrown toenails also should not be handled at home. If you notice any of these warning signs, call us as soon as possible:
- Black skin
- Red streaks on your foot
- Open wounds
- Abnormally pale or blue skin
- Tingling or numbness
- A burning feeling in your foot
- Complete lack of sensation in your feet
Protect your feet with daily self-exams and regular podiatric care. Call Bentonville, AR, foot doctor Dr. Bryan Sheehan of Ankle & Foot Centers of Mid-America at the Bentonville, AR, office (479) 224-6411 or Grove, OK, office (918) 787-6893 to schedule your appointment.