Diabetic Foot Care
Some responsibilities in life are forced upon us. No one ever asked to have diabetes, but the condition comes with a hefty number of obligations if one wants to enjoy life to the highest quality possible. In addition to checking glucose levels and counting carbs, proper diabetic foot care is a very important part of maintaining your health. Self-examination and visits with your foot doctor is a winning combination for detecting problems and avoiding serious complications.
An Ounce of Detection
Diabetes can leave your feet especially susceptible to problems. Poor circulation caused by the disease can greatly slow the time it takes for injuries on your feet to heal, while neurological damage associated with the condition may make you unable to feel an injury when it happens. This is a dangerous combination that can turn a small cut into a deep ulcer or an infection. Damage could progress so far as to require amputation. It unfortunately happens often.
This is why examining your feet daily is such a crucial habit to adopt. Finding and addressing problems early will help keep them from growing worse. Set a time of day to take a look at your feet—and abide by it. Be sure to check both the tops and bottoms of your feet, using a mirror or asking for help if needed. Watch for blisters, wounds, cracks, corns, calluses, and ingrown toenails. If you do find something, don’t wait and don’t try to treat it on your own. Let us know quickly and we can advise you on treatment.
Clean and Soft Skin
Washing your feet every day can help avoid infection in case you do get injured. Warm water and mild soap are the best tools for the job, and pat your feet dry with a towel instead of vigorously rubbing them. After washing, apply a thin layer of lotion to prevent dryness and cracking. Don’t put any between your toes, though, as extra moisture there could lead to a fungal infection.
Protecting Your Feet
Try to avoid going barefoot as often as possible. Instead, wear properly fitting shoes and comfortable socks. You may not be able to feel if your shoe is too tight, so consult a professional shoe fitter for help when selecting a pair.
As you may not be able to feel pain, you might not be able to feel extreme heat or cold very well, either. Be careful and test water before putting your feet in it. Also avoid using heating blankets or hot water bottles, as you might cause a burn to yourself before you realize it.
Teaming Up with an Expert
If you live with diabetes, we know you shoulder a lot of responsibility. A caring foot doctor is an important part of your team to help with your diabetic foot care plan. Call Dr. Gregg Neibauer and the helpful staff at Alpine Foot & Ankle Clinic, and we can aid you in your quest for healthy, comfortable feet. We not only provide a regular, professional checkup on your feet, but also help you find the best diabetic shoes, exercise options, and other benefits to lessen the influence of diabetes on your life. Schedule an appointment by calling our Missoula, MT office at (406) 721-4007.