Why Diabetics Should Pay Extra Attention to Their Foot Care

Aug 09, 2022
Why Diabetics Should Pay Extra Attention to Their Foot Care
Diabetes is a serious medical condition that affects your body from your head to your toes. Knowing how to take proper care of your feet helps keep you healthy. Read on to learn more about the importance of diabetic foot care.

If you count yourself among the 37.3 million Americans who have diabetes, you’re probably all too aware of the possible serious health implications associated with the disease, such as stroke, heart disease, blindness, kidney failure, and even lower leg amputations. Sadly, every year more than 1 million people worldwide experience a lower limb amputation due to diabetes. 

These are sobering statistics. But just because diabetes puts you at a higher risk for developing potentially life-threatening complications doesn’t mean it’s inevitable that they’ll happen, says our own board certified podiatrist Benjamin Tehrani, DPM, here at Kings Point Foot and Ankle Specialists.

There’s a lot that you and your doctor can do to stave off medical complications of diabetes so you can live a long, productive, and high quality life. In this blog, we unpack the important role a commitment to attentive foot care plays in keeping you active, mobile, and healthy for years to come.

The link between diabetes and foot complications

A great place to start this discussion is with an explanation of the connection between diabetes and foot complications. When it comes to your foot health and potential complications, it boils down to three important factors that can be compromised due to diabetes: blood flow or blood circulation, nerve damage, and the inability to heal quickly.

When your body is working optimally, it triggers the natural healing process and swings in action the moment it senses a problem such as an infection or a cut or bruise. Blood vessels deliver oxygenated blood and nutrients to the wound or damaged area via the bloodstream to repair it. 

If you have diabetes, you’re at a much higher risk of having poor circulation, including conditions such as peripheral artery disease (PAD), which reduces blood flow to the feet.

In addition to a slower healing response, diabetes may result in nerve damage so your body’s nerve receptors may not readily register pain or other sensations. This means it doesn’t signal to you that there’s an issue to deal with in the first place.

Don't ignore slow-healing foot wounds

Nerve damage and poor circulation may set the stage for a foot ulcer, one of the most common medical issues that, if not treated, can lead to a foot or leg amputation. In fact, a foot ulcer is the most common malady that initiates more than 80% of amputations.

If you notice a cut, scrape, blister, or cracked skin that’s stubborn to heal or, worse yet, seems to deteriorate, don’t wait. Contact your podiatrist right away for treatment. Don’t assume that because it doesn’t hurt, it’s not a big deal.

Examine and wash your feet every day

A great way to stay on top of any foot issues is to make foot health part of your daily routine. Think of it like a specialized spa treatment. Start off by carefully examining your feet and ankles for blisters, cuts, cracks, abrasions, or any breaks in the skin that could become infected. Don’t forget to give the bottoms of your feet a once-over as well.

When you’re done with the exam, wash your feet with lukewarm water and thoroughly dry them with a soft towel, especially between your toes. Complete your feet TLC treatment by moisturizing to prevent cracking from dryness — but skip the moisturizer on the skin between your toes because that’s a common area for fungal infections.

Get regular diabetic foot exams from your podiatrist

In addition to your at-home foot care regimen, be sure to partner with an expert podiatrist. Our team at Kings Point Foot and Ankle Specialists is here to help you maintain optimal foot health.

Dr. Tehrani customizes individual treatment plans, which typically include periodic diabetic foot exams, treatment for wounds, removing corns and calluses, as well as trimming your toenails.

If you have diabetes, you’re right to be concerned about your foot health. When you need expert diabetic foot care, contact Kings Point Foot and Ankle Specialists. Call the office convenient to you, or use our online booking tool to make your appointment today.

If you'd like to book an appointment to see our Foot and Ankle specialists for a diabetic foot check, please call 323-THE-FOOT or book online at www.kpfoot.com