If you have diabetes, you are probably well aware of the negative impact this disease can have on your feet. Poor circulation associated with diabetes makes healing wounds and ulcers on the feet particularly difficult and even dangerous. Nerve damage, which is also a common byproduct of the disease, can lead to lack of sensation in your feet, injury and difficulty walking. At Gentle Professional Foot Care, we want our patients to know that, as a patient with diabetes, there is much you can do to help protect your feet and improve podiatric health. Below are some suggestions:
· Schedule regular podiatric checkups—your podiatrist, Dr. Charles A. Suleskey is your partner in managing your disease and keeping your feet healthy. Don’t wait for a problem to make an appointment at our Venice office. Having a regular schedule of visits will allow for routine care and make it easier for the foot doctor to spot changes or problems in their earliest and most treatable stages.
· Wear shoes at all times—when you are out, shoes protect your feet from injury and from coming in contact with fungi that can cause infections like athlete’s foot or fungal toenails. Even at home, however, it’s a good idea to keep feet covered. If you experience neuropathy you could step on a sewing needle or get a splinter and not know it until an infection developed.
· Check the temperature—loss of feeling in your feet can make it difficult to accurately assess the temperature of water. Use your elbow to test tub or shower water and avoid using heating pads and electric blankets on your feet.
· Exercise regularly—choose low impact activities, such as walking or swimming. Exercise will keep the blood flowing and also enable you to maintain a healthy weight which reduces the stress on your feet and ankles.
· Quit smoking—this may be a tough one, but smoking greatly impedes your circulation. Talk to your physician about smoking cessation programs in your area.
· Inspect your feet daily—look for changes like swelling, bruising, red marks, flaky skin, blisters. These all can be early signs of an open sore beginning to form. Use a mirror to check the bottom of your feet or ask a loved one to help you. Report any changes to the podiatrist as soon as you notice them.
Have additional questions about how to best care for your feet if you have diabetes? Contact us at 941-493-7999.