Why Diabetic Foot Care Is Important
What's the best way to take care of diabetic feet? It's vigilance, constantly guarding against serious complications related to wounds, circulation, nerve function and more. At Alexandria Family Podiatry in Sterling, Dr. Richard Lee and Dr. Steven Lin partner with their patients for best continuing care and treatment outcomes.
How diabetes affects your feet
Diabetic neuropathy threatens foot health. High blood sugar levels characteristic of Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes reduce a patient's perception of heat, cold, pain, and other sensations controlled by the nervous system. When you combine neuropathy with the impaired circulation and dry skin diabetics experience, wounds and poor wound healing result.
Caring for diabetic feet
A daily care regimen is critical to a diabetic's podiatric health. Your Sterling podiatrists tailor care plans suited to each diabetic patient's needs and risks. However, in general, these guidelines help every person with diabetes stay healthy:
- Wear well-fitting shoes to protect your feet from bruising, laceration and pressure points.
- Alternate pairs of shoes, especially in the hot weather when feet sweat a lot.
- Never go barefoot, even indoors.
- Wear quality, clean socks every day.
- Wash and dry your feet daily. Inspect them for color changes, scratches, bruising, blisters, or other signs of injury.
- Avoid heating pads, hot water bottles, and over the counter heat patches as treatment for pain or cold feet. Carefully test your bath or shower water for temperature.
- Trim your toenails straight across with clean clippers to avoid ingrown toenails. If you cannot do this yourself, your Sterling podiatrist will do it for you.
- Moisturize your feet every day, but don't put lotions or cream between toes.
- Stop all tobacco use as the toxins in smokeless tobacco and cigarettes impair circulation in the extremities.
- If you develop a sore, ingrown toenail, corn, callus, severely cracked skin, or another suspicious change in how your feet look or feel, see your podiatrist right away.
In-office podiatric care is key
The American Podiatric Medical Association says that routine diabetic foot care by an experienced podiatrist decreases the chances of in-hospital care by 24 percent. At Alexandria Family Podiatry in Sterling, VA, Dr. Lee and Dr. Lin and their team will work with you to keep your feet and ankles functional and as healthy as possible. If you're diabetic and it's time for your routine check-up, please call our office for an appointment at one of our convenient locations in either Sterling or Alexandria, VA, at (703) 823-2357.