Care of the Diabetic Foot

Photo of just diabetic feet of a person standing up with the help of a walker

Diabetes is a condition that affects many people and long-term effects of diabetes can lead to eye problems, heart problems such as high blood pressure and heart disease, kidney disease, nerve damage, and many foot problems are a result of having diabetes. There is no cure for diabetes, but diabetes can be treated and controlled with proper diet, exercise, management at home, and routine medical care for diabetes.

The Podiatrist plays a key role in helping people manage diabetes successfully, reduce foot pathology, and many times, prevent foot problems that can occur due to diabetes.

Diabetes and signs of problems to the feet and ankles can include:

  • Skin Color changes
  • Swelling of the foot and ankle
  • Numbness to the feet
  • Pain to the legs, ankles, and feet
  • Dry and cracked skin
  • Dermatitis to the skin
  • Ingrown and Fungus toenails
  • Blisters
  • Corns and calluses that bleed
  • Open sores that are not healing

Diabetes Tips and Foot Care Tips:

  • Do not smoke.
  • Inspect the feet daily for blisters, cuts, and scratches. A mirror can aid in seeing the bottom of the feet. Always check in between the toes.
  • Wash feet daily. Dry them carefully, especially between the toes.
  • Avoid temperature extremes.
  • Test water with elbow before bathing.
  • If feet feel cold at night, wear socks. Do not apply hot water bottles or heating pads. Do not soak feet in hot water.
  • Do not walk on hot surfaces such as sandy beaches or on cement around swimming pools.
  • Do not walk barefoot.
  • Do not use chemical agents to remove corns and calluses. Do not use corn plasters. Do not use strong antiseptic solutions on feet.
  • Do not use adhesive tape on feet.
  • Inspect the inside of shoes for foreign objects, nail points, torn linings, and rough areas.If your vision is impaired, have a family member inspect your feet daily, trim the nails, and buff down calluses.
  • Do not soak feet.
  • For dry feet, use a very thin coat of lubricating oil, such as baby oil. Apply the oil after bathing and drying the feet. Do not put oil or cream between the toes.
  • Consult your physician for detailed instructions.
  • Wear properly fitting stockings. Do not wear mended stockings. Avoid stockings with seams. Change stockings daily.
  • Do not wear garters.
  • Shoes should be comfortable at the time of purchase. Do not depend on shoes to stretch out. Shoes should be made of leather. Running shoes may be worn after you check with your physician.
  • Do not wear shoes without stockings.
  • Do not wear sandals with thongs between the toes.
  • In winter, take special precautions. Wear wool socks and protective footgear, such as fleece-lined boots.
  • Cut nails straight across.
  • Do not cut corns and calluses. Follow the special instructions from your physician or podiatrist.
  • Avoid crossing your legs. This can cause pressure on the nerves and vessels.
  • See your physician regularly and be sure that your feet are examined at each visit.
  • Notify your physician or podiatrist at once if you develop a blister or sore on your feet.
  • Be sure to inform your podiatrist that you have diabetes.

For evaluation, confirming diagnosis, and treatment options, make an appointment with Dr. Novabilski