6 Ways to Protect Your Feet if You Have Diabetes
Diabetes affects over 30 million Americans—that’s rapidly approaching 10% of the population. At Goldsmith Podiatry we treat many patients with this disease. It can have serious health implications for your feet because neuropathy—or nerve damage—is a condition that is commonly associated with diabetes. This can result in a lack of sensation in your feet, leaving them vulnerable to many injuries and illnesses. In addition, diabetes can reduce circulation, making it difficult to heal from infections and injuries.
Below are 6 ways to be proactive in keeping diabetic feet healthy:
- Get your feet checked regularly. Our podiatrists, Dr. Howard Goldsmith and Dr. Rosanna Troia are your partners in helping manage your diabetes and preventing it from harming your feet. The foot doctor will recommend a check up schedule that will continually monitor and evaluate your foot health. It’s important to stick with the schedule and follow all the podiatrist’s instructions for caring for your feet.
- Invest in good shoes. Shoes that are ill fitting are likely to cause blisters, calluses or corns. Shoes that are stretched out can result in a trip and fall injury. Have your foot professionally measured and walk around for enough time to tell if the shoes feel comfortable. Run your hand around the inside of the shoe to make sure there are no rough spots or loose stitching that could create friction.
- Wash your feet daily with warm (not hot) soapy water and dry completely.
- Apply a rich lotion or cream to your feet each night before bed. Dry skin is a problem for some diabetic patients and if feet are not kept moisturized, cracks can form which may allow bacteria to enter and cause a serious infection.
- Don’t treat warts, ingrown toenails or calluses on your own. Many seemingly minor foot problems can become major health threats for patients with diabetes. Home remedies and “bathroom surgeries” are to be avoided at all costs.
- Practice self-exams. Look over your feet every day, top and bottom, and between your toes. Check for growths, rashes, bruising or swelling and any unusual changes in the skin of your feet. All of these can be indicative of a foot problem developing. Promptly reporting any issues to your foot doctor can stop trouble before it starts. Contact our New York office by calling: (212) 877-1002 to make an appointment.