Approximately 30 million people in the United States have been diagnosed with Diabetes. 84.1 million are considered to have Prediabetes, which if left untreated can lead to type 2 Diabetes within five years. Diabetes can dangerous, especially for your feet. Diabetes may cause nerve damage that takes away the feeling in your feet. Diabetes may also reduce blood flow to the feet, making it harder to heal an injury or resist infection. Dr. Kylin Kovac is trained to treat foot conditions that can be caused by Diabetes, such as Neuropathy , infection, and ulcers. Seeing a Podiatrist for foot care can reduce amputation rates by 45 to 85 percent and lower the risk of hospitalization by 24 percent!
Diabetes warning signs involving the feet and ankles include the following:
- Skin color changes
- Swelling of the foot or ankle
- Numbness in the feet or toes
- Pain in the legs
- Open sores on the feet that are slow to heal
- Ingrown and fungal toenails
- Bleeding corns and calluses
- Dry cracks in the skin, especially around the heel
The American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons (ACFAS) have provided guidelines for people with Diabetes to help prevent serious problems with their feet:
1. Inspect your feet daily. Check for cuts, blisters, redness, swelling, or nail problems. Use a magnifying hand mirror to look at the bottom of your feet. Call your Podiatristif you notice any problems.
2. Bathe feet in lukewarm, never hot, water. Keep your feet clean by washing them daily. Use only lukewarm water—the temperature you would use on a newborn baby.
3. Be gentle when bathing your feet. Wash them using a soft washcloth or sponge. Dry by blotting or patting and carefully dry between the toes.
4. Moisturize your feet but not between your toes. Use a moisturizer daily to keep dry skin from itching or cracking. But don’t moisturize between the toes—that could encourage a fungal infection.
7. Wear clean, dry socks. Change them daily.
8. Consider socks made specifically for patients living with Diabetes. These socks have extra cushioning, do not have elastic tops, are higher than the ankle and are made from fibers that wick moisture away from the skin.
9. Wear socks to bed . If your feet get cold at night, wear socks. Never use a heating pad or a hot water bottle.
10. Shake out your shoes and feel the inside before wearing. Remember, your feet may not be able to feel a pebble or other foreign object, so always inspect your shoes before putting them on.
11. Keep your feet warm and dry. Don’t let your feet get wet in snow or rain. Wear warm socks and shoes in winter.
12. Consider using an antiperspirant on the soles of your feet. This is helpful if you have excessive sweating of the feet.
13. Never walk barefoot. Not even at home! Always wear shoes or slippers. You could step on something and get a scratch or cut.
14. Take care of your Diabetes. Keep your blood sugar levels under control.
15. Do not smoke. Smoking restricts blood flow in your feet.
16. Get periodic foot exams. Seeing your foot and ankle surgeonon a regular basis can help prevent the foot complications of Diabetes.
Annual examinations are vital for anyone with Diabetes. Dr. Kylin Kovac at Idaho Foot and Ankle Center can provide a more thorough exam and detect any signs of changes, such as broken skin or ulcers that can be detrimental to the health of your feet and body. He can also check for areas of high pressure or loss of blood circulation. Y our P odiatristplays a critical role in the prevention and management of complications of the foot in Diabetic Patients. Contact Dr. Kovac today to see what you can do now to keep your feet safe, strong, and healthy!
Some content provided by The ACFAS, CDC.gov, & The APMA.