Diabetes and feet have a complicated, sometimes volatile relationship. The disease creates issues throughout the body, but two in particular—neuropathy and peripheral arterial disease—are especially concerning for foot health. With this in mind, diabetic foot care, especially daily foot inspections, is something that everyone living with diabetes needs to practice.
Patients sometimes wonder why it is important to check their feet daily when they have diabetes. In part, diabetic neuropathy can disrupt the body’s ability to recognize when injury or damage is present. This means an individual might sustain a cut without being aware and won’t provide the appropriate care to reduce the risk of infection.
Additionally, peripheral arterial disease and an impaired immune system can greatly reduce the body’s ability to heal itself properly through natural methods. This means a diabetic individual needs to have greater reliance upon external care. A daily inspection allows him or her to catch issues at an early level, before they become major problems.
Now that you understand why daily foot inspections are so important, it is time to discuss what you need to be looking out for when you do them. As a rule of thumb, anything out of the ordinary should be noted and reported, but more specifically keep your eyes open for cuts, scrapes, abrasions, corns, bruises, blisters, cracking, ingrown or discolored toenails, and unusual skin colors (red, blue and black in particular).
In addition to using your eyes, gently run your fingers over your feet to check for unfamiliar textures and temperatures. Skin that is too cold or too warm can indicate that there is problem. Warm skin, especially, can be an indication of an infection or inflammation and you should seek medical help right away.
Have diabetes, but don’t feel comfortable making a foot care plan on your own? No need to worry! Our professionals at Advanced Foot and Ankle are here to help. We know that your feet require a little extra attention and, even better, have the experience to guide you so that you can have a robust plan that protects your feet and allows you to catch issues at their most treatable stages.
Call our Twin Falls, ID podiatrist office at (208) 731-6321 or our Burley office at (208) 312-4646 for more information, or take advantage of our online form and schedule your appointment at either location today.