Persons with diabetes are more vulnerable to foot problems because diabetes can damage your nerves and reduce blood flow to your feet. The American Diabetes Association 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. Your doctor will check your feet each year for any problems.
Podiatrist Dr. Frederick R. Brookman, who has a practice in New York City, gives some tips to follow for diabetic foot care:
– Wash and Dry Your Feet Daily
– Use mild soaps and warm water
– Pat your skin dry; do not rub. Make sure your feet are thoroughly dry.
– After washing, use lotion on your feet to prevent cracking. Do not put lotion between your toes.
– Check the tops and bottoms of your feet daily, check for dry, cracked skin. Look for blisters, cuts, scratches, or other sores. Check for redness, increased warmth, or tenderness when touching any area of your feet. Check for ingrown toenails, corns, and calluses. Have someone else look at your feet if you cannot see them.
– Do not self-treat your corns, calluses, or other foot problems. Go to your healthcare provider or podiatrist to treat these conditions.
– If you get a blister or sore from your shoes, do not “pop” it. Apply a bandage and wear a different pair of shoes and make an appointment with your podiatrist.
– Take Care of Your Toenails -You may want a podiatrist (foot doctor) to cut your toenails.
– Protect Your Feet with Shoes and Socks
– Avoid tight socks.
Don’t wait to treat a minor foot problem if you have diabetes. Seek help from your health care provider. As a diabetic, you should be checked by a Podiatrist on a regular basis so if you do not have a podiatrist, visit ZocDoc to search for one in your area.
Report foot injuries and infections to your physician or podiatrist immediately.
If you need a podiatrist and are in the New York area, contact Dr. Frederick R. Brookman at 212-675-7591. His practice is located at 157 East 18th Street, New York, NY 10003 between Irving Place and 3rd Avenue.