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Diabetes Foot Care

People with diabetes can be at risk of developing complications brought about by the abnormal blood sugar level. A common complication involves nerve damage which can encompass different body organs and functions. With regards to podiatry, peripheral neuropathy, also called distal symmetric neuropathy or sensorimotor neuropathy, involves diabetic complications affecting the feet and legs. Because of nerve damage, patients with this condition have insensitivity to pain or temperature, rendering them unable to feel their feet normally and unable to sense injuries. Other symptoms of diabetes foot problems include pains or cramps in the feet, burning or prickling sensation, sensitivity to touch, redness, swelling, skin breaks with infection, possible fever or chills, and loss of balance and coordination.

Before long, continuous strain and wear and tear on the feet leads to trauma or serious damage. Diabetes can also lead to atherosclerosis which is the hardening of the arteries resulting in poor blood circulation. This condition hinders the healing of injured tissues and contributes to more foot problems.

For diabetic patients, it is important to ensure proper care to avoid the problems and complications the disease may bring. The following are not only preventative measures and prescribed steps for diabetes foot care, but are also the best treatment and care if you are already suffering from nerve damage:

  • Daily foot care routine. This includes washing the feet and toes with mild soap and lukewarm water, gently drying as well softening with a cream, lotion or oil.
  • Check the feet daily for blisters, swelling or redness. Make a complete sweep of the top, sides, sole, heel and in between the toes.
  • Avoid physical activities that can cause strain and injury to the feet.
  • Wear shoes that are the right fit. They should be comfortable and easily adjusted. Avoid open, heeled and pointy shoes. Also avoid footwear with materials that are not breathable.
  • Wear socks for an extra layer of protection. Fresh, clean and dry socks are preferable to avoid infection.
  • Remove shoes after several hours if wearing on extended periods of time. This will foster relaxation and adjusts the pressure points on the feet.
  • Trim toe nails regularly cutting straight across the nail to avoid ingrown nails. Soaking or washing the feet can help in softening the nails before trimming.
  • Get your feet checked during regular medical check-ups.
  • Control blood sugar level.
  • Stop smoking.

To prevent or detect nerve damage and other diabetic foot problems, podiatrist Dr. Belmont Anderson can help.