Patients with diabetes have to take special care to avoid complications related to foot health. A combination of poor circulation and nerve damage makes otherwise trivial injuries and conditions involving the feet life-threatening and can result in amputation. Daily inspections are the cornerstone of diabetic patients’ foot health. Dr. Steber helps diabetic patients in the Lehighton, PA area learn how to care for their feet and what to watch for to prevent dangerous health conditions.
When and How Should I Inspect My Feet?
After a shower or bath is generally the best time to inspect your feet, though you will want to wait till they are completely dry. This includes the area between the toes. Sit in a room with good lighting, and get help from someone else if you have poor eyesight. A long-handled mirror can help if you have difficulty with seeing the bottom or sides of your feet. While you’re inspecting your feet keep an eye out for:
Blisters, bruises, and lumps
Hair loss on the foot or leg, a sign of reduced blood flow.
Toenails that have become ingrown, or are puffy, tender, or painful.
Differences in temperature on your feet and legs that can indicate poor blood flow.
Skin that is thin or shiny, a sign of poor circulation.
Skin that is red or streaked with red that can indicate infection.
Cracks, sores, and cuts on the skin that can be a venue for infection.
All of these conditions can become critical in diabetic patients, and deserve the attention of your podiatrist.
How Do I Care For My Feet?
It all starts with a regimen of daily foot and leg inspections, but there’s more you can do. If you experience numbness, tingling, or a lack of sensation in your feet you should take care to wear shoes both indoors and out. Clear your floor of sharp objects, and cushion the corners of furniture to prevent injury. Don’t use hot water to wash your feet as you may be unable to feel a burn, and be sure to lotion them thoroughly after they dry. Avoid putting lotion between the toes as it can create an environment for bacteria to grow. If you lack sensation in your feet avoid cutting your toenails yourself, go to a salon or have a loved one or support person do this. Avoid over-the-counter wart removers and don’t attempt to remove calluses, protrusions, or corns on your feet yourself.
If you’d like additional guidance on how to care for your feet with diabetes, contact Dr. Steber’s office today in Lehighton, PA. You can call us at 570-657-6851 or stop by 265 Pine Cove Ct to schedule an appointment at our offices. Diabetes is a serious condition, but it can be controlled and the damage it does controlled through good practices. Don’t let diabetes cost you your independence, take steps to protect yourself by calling for an appointment, and learning how to care for your feet today!