Arundel Foot & Ankle Group, LLC
Tracy Wertheimer Bramble, DPM
        Podiatrist, Foot & Ankle Surgeon

 

Diabetes is a systemic disease that can affect many different parts of the body, including the feet. The key to amputation prevention is early recognition and regular foot screenings from a podiatric physician.  In addition, you should check your feet daily for certain warning signs. 

They include: 

     Changes in skin color

     Swelling in the feet and ankles

     Leg pain

     Numbness and tingling in feet

     Slow healing sores on legs and feet

     Ingrown and fungal toenails

     Cracks in the skin

     Bleeding corns and calluses

     Poorly fitted shoes or even a wrinkle in a stocking can cause a wound that may not be felt due to nerve damage or diabetic neuropathy.  If the ulceration is left untreated, it may become infected, leading to very serious consequences.

          Prevention is the key in diabetic foot care.  These preventive measures are as follows:

     Wash feet daily

     Use a mild soap and lukewarm water. Dry your feet well, particularly between the toes.  If the skin is dry and flaky, use a moisturizer daily, but avoid applying between toes.

     Daily foot inspections

     Check for cuts, bruises, or any other changes in appearance. If you are unable to see the bottom of your feet, have someone help or just inspect your feet in front of a mirror.

     Stop smoking

     Smoking may lead to circulatory problems in the legs and feet which will slow the wound healing process.

     Proper diet and exercise

     Many diabetics are overweight due to a poor diet. This results in an uncontrolled blood sugar level, increasing the risk of complications. Walking daily is a great way to keep the weight down, control blood sugar and improve circulation.

     Properly fitted shoes

     Foot size and shape change over time, therefore, should be measured in length and width when new shoes are purchased. The shoes should have a wide toe box and cushioned insoles to prevent excess pressure on bony areas.

     White cotton socks

     Avoid socks with seams that can rub and cause blisters. Also, avoid wearing socks that are too tight that can constrict circulation.

     Never go barefoot

     Walking barefoot can increase your risk of cuts, infection, falls and other foot injuries. Even indoors, slippers should be worn.

     Avoid alcohol in excess

     Alcohol can contribute to nerve damage or neuropathy associated with diabetes, increasing the possibility of overlooking and not properly treating an ulceration.

     See a podiatric physician

     Regular visits to your podiatric physician for evaluation and routine foot care will help your feet remain healthy and happy.