There are two main ways that diabetes can contribute to foot problems: It can cause peripheral neuropathy (tingling, burning, and decreased feeling in the feet) so that injuries and cuts may go unnoticed. It can also cause decreased circulation to the feet, resulting in a reduced blood supply that may be inadequate to heal wounds and fight infection. For these reasons it is essential that diabetics take good care of their feet. All diabetics should follow these guidelines to avoid serious infection:
- Check over your feet and in between your toes each and everyday. Look for corns and calluses that could ulcerate, as well as any redness and swelling. Inspect your feet for signs of broken skin, cuts, blisters, or scratches.
- Wash your feet everyday in warm water (temperature tested with your hand first) with a mild soap (but don’t soak your feet – it can make your skin dry out and crack).
- Wear shoes that fit properly to prevent rubbing and ulceration, and be very careful after you start wearing new shoes – check for red spots and any signs of irritation.
- Never go barefoot.
- Trim your toenails carefully, or have Dr. Mendoza trim them for you if it is hard for you to do yourself – especially if you tend to draw blood while trimming them, we don’t want you to start a wound that’s hard to heal.
- Never use medicated callous remover pads, leave the callous trimming to Dr. Mendoza!
- Don’t smoke – smoking narrows the blood vessels and decreases circulation to the feet which is particularly dangerous for people with diabetes.
- Before you put them on, examine the inside of your shoes for foreign objects or torn linings that may cause irritation.
If you would like a diabetic foot exam or need diabetic foot care click here or call our office at 615-452-8899 today to schedule your appointment!