For patients with diabetes, what are normally seen as minor foot issues can become major medical threats. Ingrown toenails, blisters, sunburn, and cuts on the feet can all lead to an ulcer or infection that can be difficult to heal due to the poor circulation and weakened immune systems that many diabetic patients face. At Edmond Norman Foot & Ankle, we work with our diabetic patients to prevent problems from developing. Here are some tips on how to reduce your risk:
- Don’t go barefoot. Neuropathy (another condition commonly associated with diabetes) can reduce sensation in the foot so much that you may not necessarily realize that you have punctured, cut or injured your foot. Wearing shoes and slippers with solid soles will protect your feet from objects that can cause harm.
- Dry your feet. Athlete’s foot and other fungal infections love moist environments. If you put socks on damp feet, you are creating the perfect place for infections to thrive.
- Moisturize. Diabetic patients sometimes have problems with dry skin. To prevent skin from cracking and allowing an entry point for infection-causing bacteria, use lotion or cream on feet daily.
- Choose shoes carefully. Make sure they have a wide toe box and that they don’t rub or pinch any part of your foot.
- Do not treat corns, calluses or warts on your own. Products and techniques that involve sticky pads, strong solutions or filing or cutting can result in injury or infection.
- Get in the habit of inspecting your feet daily. Many potentially dangerous disorders first show up as minor changes in the foot: skin color, a lump or red spot, discoloration of the nail or change in shape or size.
If you see anything unusual when checking your feet, don’t delay. Contact our Edmond or Norman office right away for an appointment and let our board certified foot and ankle surgeon, Dr. A. Bil Buksh evaluate your foot. Being proactive in the care of your feet is the best way to stop diabetic foot issues before they start.