Diabetic Foot Care

Diabetes can restrict blood flow to the feet, causing longer healing times, nerve damage, and in some cases amputation, if not treated appropriately. Diabetic patients are inherently at a higher risk of many different infections, diagnoses and injuries, some going completely unnoticed by the patient because of the lack of feeling in the feet.

Risk Factors

The consequences of not appropriately managing foot care as a diabetic patient are severe. A relatively small problem, like a blister, could easily and quickly devolve into an extensive infection. In some cases, amputation is the only way to help.

Guidelines for Diabetic Foot Care

Follow the guidelines below for healthy at-home foot care.

  • Wear clean, dry socks– if your feet get wet throughout the day, change them regularly. If necessary, try socks made for diabetic patients. These provide extra padding while being made of moisture-wicking material.
  • Moisturize your feet- AVOID moisturizing between the toes, as that area is a common for fungal growth. Moisturizing will keep the skin from cracking and splitting.
  • Inspect your feet frequently for cuts, blisters, rashes, redness, swelling or nail irritation. If you notice anything abnormal, call your podiatrist ASAP.
  • Bathe daily in lukewarm water.
  • Keep foreign objects out of your shoes– This will avoid cuts and blisters.

When To See a Doctor

In severe cases of peripheral neuropathy, the following may be experienced:

  • Routine Foot Maintenance– Having a trained professional maintain your feet will help to avoid knicks, cuts, blisters, etc.
  • Corn or Callus Treatment– This can easily devolve into a cut or infection if treated at home.
  • Periodic Foot Exams– Periodic exams can help minimize the complications behind diabetes.
  • Ulcers or Wound Treatment– This can easily devolve into a cut or infection if treated at home.
  • When there is a risk of the patient accidentally injuring themselves (even minor accidents), seeing a trained medical professional is ALWAYS recommended.