As a person with diabetes, you are more vulnerable to foot problems, because diabetes can damage your nerves and reduce blood flow to your feet.
The American Diabetes Association (ADA) estimates that one in five people with diabetes who seek hospital care do so for foot problems. By taking proper care of your feet, most serious health problems associated with diabetes can be prevented.
According to the ADA, nearly 12% of the Hispanic population has diabetes and even more importantly, are at a 66% increased risk of developing the disease when compared to other ethnicities. In addition, a new American Podiatric Medical Association survey found that 90% of U.S. Hispanics with diabetes or at risk for diabetes have not visited a podiatrist.
Diabetes complications in the feet can be very dangerous. In fact, diabetes is the leading cause of non-traumatic lower-limb amputation. These complications and amputations can be prevented. With proper foot care from today’s podiatrist, you can manage the effects of the disease on your feet.
Podiatrists are the most qualified doctors to care for your feet, based on their education, training, and experience. If you or a loved one has diabetes, visit a podiatrist regularly and knock your socks off to keep your feet healthy.
Whether you’ve recently been diagnosed or have been fighting the disease for years, the advice below will help you to monitor your feet and prevent complications.
Wash and dry your feet daily. Use mild soaps, warm water, pat your skin dry. Thoroughly dry your feet. Use lotion on your feet to prevent cracking. Do not put lotion between your toes.
Examine your feet each day. Check the tops and bottoms of your feet for dry, cracked skin. If you get a blister or sore from your shoes, do not pop it.
Take care of your toenails. Cut toenails straight across and smooth with a nail file, avoid cutting into the corners of toes, do not cut cuticles.
Be careful when exercising. Walk and exercise in comfortable shoes. Do not exercise when you have open sores on your feet. Protect your feet with shoes and socks. Never go barefoot. Always protect your feet by wearing shoes or hard-soled slippers or footwear. Do wear a sturdy pair of flip-flops when walking around a public pool, at the beach, in hotel rooms and in locker room areas. Walking barefoot can expose foot soles to plantar warts and athlete’s foot.