What does Diabetes have to do with my feet?
People with diabetes can develop many different foot problems. Foot problems can occur when there is nerve damage also called neuropathy, which can lead to loss of feeling in your feet. Neuropathy can lead to an inability to feel pain, heat or cold. You may develop a foot injury and not even know it. Dr Cohen has had patients come into the office with thumb tacks in their shoes and not know it! The skin on your feet may also change become dry and crack and peel. The nerves in your feet that control oil and moisture may no longer work. You may develop corns and callusesthat if left untreated could result in ulcerations. Circulation is key to good foot health. If you develop poor circulation, you lose the ability to fight infection and to heal.
How can Foot & Ankle Centers Help?
Dr. Cohen will schedule routine diabetic foot examinations allowing him to check your feet thoroughly to check for any unusual signs. He may do testing on your feet to check your circulation and nerve function. He will check the feet and toes for any redness, swelling and sores. The best way to effectively maintain your foot health is to see the doctor. Do not hesitate to call for an appointment and let the doctor check your feet! Below are some things you should do regularly:
Diabetic Footcare Guidelines:
¨ Do not smoke
¨ Inspect your feet daily for blisters, cuts, scratches, bleeding and lesions between toes. Using a mirror can aid in seeing the bottom of your foot
¨ Do not soak your feet
¨ Avoid temperature extremes-do not use hot water bottles or heating pads on your feet. Test water before bathing
¨ Wash feet daily with warm, soapy water, and dry them well, especially between the toes
¨ Use a moisturizing cream or lotion daily, but avoid between the toes
¨ Make sure that shoes are comfortable at the time of purchase. Do not depend on them to stretch out. Break in new shoes gradually
¨ Do not use acids or chemical corn removers
¨ Do not perform “bathroom surgery” on corns, calluses, or ingrown toenails
¨ Trim your toenails carefully and file them gently. Have a podiatrist treat you regularly if you cannot trim them yourself. Contact your podiatric surgeon immediately if your foot becomes swollen, painful, or if redness occurs
¨ Learn all you can about diabetes and how it can affect your feet