Diabetes can cause decreased circulation to the feet, which reduces the foot’s ability to heal from even minor wounds.
Also, diabetes causes a condition called peripheral neuropathy. Peripheral neuropathy causes a decrease or a loss of feeling in the extremities, so a diabetic may not feel something that is causing irritation to their feet and toes, such as a toenail that is cutting into their toe.
Sharing information about managing foot health for diabetics is something we’re passionate about at Step by Step because it helps people maintain a better quality of life. Since the effects of even a minor foot injury can be so devastating to someone with diabetes, prevention is the key to living a better life.
Maintaining good foot health for diabetics
If you have diabetes, you should inspect your feet daily for wounds and to make sure your nails are in good condition. You need to keep a close eye on your feet and seek treatment for any issues that arise.
To help keep infections from dry, cracked skin away, you should moisturize every day.
To avoid blisters, inspect your shoes regularly to make sure there is nothing inside that could rub or irritate your skin and cause blisters. Remember, you may not feel the shoe rubbing even if it is.
Toenails can easily be cut wrong, causing an ingrown toenail, and putting a person with diabetes at risk for serious infection. That’s why I recommend that people with diabetes see a chiropodist/podiatrist regularly to have their nails taken care of properly and their feet assessed for any potential problems.
At Step by Step Professional Family Foot Care, we help our clients with diabetes avoid serious infections and foot ulcers by:
- making sure their nails are properly cut and cared for,
- treating minor injuries immediately and closely monitoring the healing process,
- helping them choose the proper socks, shoes, and products to care for their feet, and
- providing education and raising awareness to help them manage their foot health.
We have written specifically about the effects of diabetes on foot health before on this blog. For more information on diabetes and foot health, you can read the following posts:
- Diabetes and foot health – Why you need a chiropodist
- Footwear facts for diabetics
- Symptoms and treatment of peripheral neuropathy
- for more information on foot fungus, visit the Global Nail Fungus Organization
In our post called Pedicures: Know the Risks, we outline various reasons why pedicures can be unsafe, especially for diabetics and others with certain conditions.
And in our post Why use compression socks? we describe how compression socks or stockings are used to treat symptoms of a variety of health conditions, including how they help people with diabetes.
If you have any questions about how we can help you manage the effects of diabetes on your foot health, please call Step by Step Professional Family Foot Care and book your an appointment for a foot assessment.