November is National Diabetes Month. As we come to the end of the month, I think it is important to have a quick discussion regarding diabetes and the feet. Problems with the feet are very common, but diabetics have a higher likelihood of complications, especially if blood flow and sensation has been affected. A concerning complication of diabetes is limb loss. This is a real concern being that 50-70% of all non-traumatic amputations in the US are performed on diabetics. However, there are steps that can be taken to prevent this from occurring.
- Do NOT walk barefoot.
- Wear properly fitting shoes and break them in slowly to prevent blisters/sores.
- Always thoroughly dry your feet, especially between the toes.
- Do not pull loose pieces of skin off.
- Wear clean socks daily and throw them away when they get old.
- Keep toenails trimmed, but visit your podiatrist for evaluation and trimming as to avoid any problems.
- Do NOT attempt to trim/cut your corns and calluses on your own. Avoid commercial wart/corn removers as they may be dangerous with the chemicals included.
- Avoid smoking. This further constricts and negatively impacts blood flow to the feet.
- Avoid extreme heat or cold as diabetics are not as sensitive to the temperatures and this can be dangerous.
- MOST IMPORTANTLY, examine your feet daily, including between your toes. If you cannot do it yourself, have someone help you. Always call your podiatrist immediately with anything concerning, especially openings in the skin, EVEN IF YOU HAVE NO PAIN.
If you have any questions regarding diabetes or would like to make an appointment with the office for a Diabetic Foot Check, please do not hesitate to call. Call Gentle Touch Foot Care at 973-673-3668 to make your appointment today!