Did you know that 1 in 11 Americans has diabetes? It causes more deaths than AIDS and breast cancer combined. One of the biggest threats of this disease is diabetic ulcers that are slow to heal and can allow dangerous infections to develop which can penetrate all the way to the bone. Your feet are particularly vulnerable due to circulation and neuropathy issues that are frequently associated with diabetes. The good news is that there is much patients can do to protect their feet and help avoid serious diabetic medical issues. This November, Edmond Norman Foot & Ankle offers the following tips for diabetic foot care:
- Practice good foot hygiene. Wash feet daily with warm water and dry thoroughly, especially between toes. Apply moisturizer to combat dryness and cracking. If your feet tend to sweat excessively, use a talc or anti-fungal powder to prevent fungal infections.
- Be vigilant. Get in the habit of inspecting your feet for changes in temperature, shape, skin peeling or nail discoloration, lumps or growths, rashes or anything that could be the beginning of a wound. Blisters, bunions, corns and other minor issues can be major for diabetic patients.
- Protect against dangers. Don’t go barefoot to avoid cuts and punctures. Do not expose feet to very hot water or the sun—decreased ability to perceive heat can easily result in burns.
- Don’t be your own doctor. Over the counter products such as plasters, tapes or treatments using adhesive applications can all tear or damage skin. Attempting to remove warts or dig out ingrown toenails can also be problematic. It’s best to consult our board certified podiatrist Dr. A. Bil Buksh and ensure professional, safe treatment of any foot problem if you are a patient with diabetes. Schedule regular check-ups with the foot doctor.
One of the most important tips to preventing devastating diabetic foot problems is acting quickly and catching sores, ulcers and other infection opportunities in their earliest stages. If you notice anything unusual, redness, pain, heat, etc. contact our Edmond or Norman office immediately for an appointment.