Dos and Don’ts of Diabetic Foot Care

All of us at Montgomery Foot Care Specialists consider diabetes to be one of the biggest threats to our patients’ feet. We want our diabetic patients to understand completely how important it is to take care of their feet! That’s why we’ve been focusing a lot on diabetic foot care during November, Diabetes Awareness Month

High blood sugar, the hallmark of diabetes, affects your feet in two major ways:

  • It damages your nervous system. Nerve damage in your feet translates to loss of feeling, numbness, tingling, and, sometimes, pain.
  • It causes blockage in your blood vessels. Too much sugar in your blood contributes to the buildup of plaque, which impedes the proper flow of blood.

Both of these conditions – diabetic neuropathy and peripheral arterial disease – can be present at the same time. Diabetic neuropathy makes it easy to miss foot problems because you can’t feel them. Peripheral arterial disease makes it difficult for wounds to heal.

To avoid complications from these two common foot conditions, follow these basic dos and don’ts:

Don’t ignore numbness. Nerve damage that isn’t addressed can become permanent.

Don’t treat calluses, corns, or ingrown toenails at home. Any kind of abrasion, use of harsh chemicals, or “bathroom surgery” is bad news.

Do perform a daily foot exam.

Do get some exercise every day to help control your blood sugar.

Don’t forget to wear proper diabetic shoes and custom orthotics if we’ve prescribed them.

Do check the insides of your shoes for rough seams, foreign objects, and anything else that could irritate your feet.

Don’t cross your legs or ankles for a long period of time. Doing so can create pressure points and lead to unwanted breaks in your skin.

Do get an annual foot exam at our Montgomery County podiatry office. Dr. Heidi M. Christie and Dr. Chanda L. Day-Houts can catch problems that you may have missed during your daily exams at home. Call us in Montgomery at (334) 396-3668 or make an appointment online.