For our Middlesex County patients with diabetes, we at Feet First Foot Care Specialists know that even minor cuts or common conditions like athlete’s foot can prove dangerous. Diabetes limits blood flow to the legs and feet, making it harder for wounds and infections to heal. Nerve damage (or neuropathy), often associated with diabetes as well, can reduce feeling in your feet and increase the likelihood of an injury or infection going unnoticed. With proper care, however, you can greatly reduce the risk of harmful foot problems from diabetes.
Do: remember, your podiatrist is your partner in diabetic foot care. Talk to our podiatrist, Dr. Adam Mucinskas, about the best ways to be proactive about your foot health. Schedule regular podiatric checkups and report anything unusual—skin rashes, bumps, bruises, cuts that seem slow to heal, etc.—as soon as you notice them.
Don’t: Expose your feet to open flames or space heaters. Avoid electric blankets and check the temperature of bathwater with your hand or arm before stepping in. Neuropathy may impede your ability to perceive heat accurately.
Don’t: wear shoes that are too tight in the toe box or rub at the heel. It’s also best not to wear footwear made of rigid, stiff material. All of these can cause blisters to form or exacerbate toe deformities like bunions and hammertoes.
Do: keep toenails trimmed appropriately. Cut straight across, not too short, and with no rounded edges. This will help prevent ingrown toenails from developing.
Do: make healthy lifestyle choices that will enable you to control your diabetes better. These may include a regular exercise routine, a healthy meal plan, and managing other health conditions that may be related to diabetes, such as hypertension.
Don’t: smoke. It impedes circulation.
Do: keep feet dry. Change socks at the first sign they feel damp. Sitting in moist socks can lead to blisters and fungal infections.
Don’t: attempt any “self-doctoring.” Do not try to file down or remove corns or calluses on your own. Do not use medicated pads or other products designed to eliminate warts. These can cause injury or harm to your feet, which is particularly dangerous if you have diabetes. Instead, contact our Cromwell office by calling: (860) 632-5499 and let the podiatrist handle.