Taking good care of your feet is essential if you have diabetes. Our Olney, Silver Spring, Clinton and Kensington, MD, podiatrists discuss the importance of diabetic foot care and share information on steps you can take to prevent sores on your feet, including wearing orthotics.
How does diabetes affect the feet?
High blood glucose levels common in diabetes affect your entire body. In addition to raising your risk of heart and kidney disease, diabetes can also damage the nerves in your feet and slow your body's natural healing process. Because it's more difficult to fight infections when you have diabetes, even small wounds or sores can become infected very quickly. If nerve damage is so severe that you can no longer feel your feet, you won't notice if your shoes are too tight or you develop a blister. Failing to notice warning signs and small wounds can increase your risk of a serious infection that can lead to amputation, in some cases.
How can I reduce my risk of severe infection?
You can lower your risk of infection by following these steps:
- Examine Your Feet Daily: The key to avoiding infection is identifying a problem before it can become serious. At least once every day, examine your feet for red spots, blisters, cuts, scratches, corns, calluses, changes in the color of your foot, warm or cold sensations, red streaks or open wounds. If you notice a red spot, switch to another pair of shoes. If you notice any other problem, call our Olney, Silver Spring, Clinton or Kensington office. Don't attempt to treat the problem yourself.
- Avoid Athlete's Foot: When your skin begins to peel and flake away due to athlete's foot, small breaks in the skin can develop. Reduce your risk by wearing shower shoes in public locker and shower rooms and around pools.
- Wear Orthotics: Orthotics are special shoe inserts custom-designed by your podiatrist to fit your foot. Orthotics help stabilize your foot and prevent it from sliding inside your shoe. They also reduce the pressure that causes red spots and blisters.
Good foot care is the key to keeping your feet healthy. If you're interested in orthotics or are concerned about a foot issue, contact Family Foot and Ankle Associates of Maryland. Call the Olney office at (301) 924-5044, the Silver Spring office at (301) 439-0300, the Clinton office at (301) 868-7670 or the Kensington office at (301) 942-8110.