Diabetic Foot Care

Currently over 20 million Americans live with diabetes, this number is increasing every year. Diabetes can mean bad things for your feet, because it can cause nerve damage. Nerve damage from diabetes can cause loss of feeling to your feet and toes. There are a few things that can be done to prevent damage to the feet from diabetes. The most important preventative care is to inspect feet daily. Diabetics often have loss of feeling, so checking the feet becomes very important. It is also important to keep the feet clean and dry, paying special attention to the area between the toes. Keeping the areas between the toes dry to keep fungus from growing. Moisturizing after drying feet will keep them from cracking, however it is important to keep lotion out of the area between the toes. After moisturizer is applied, socks should be worn, especially with shoes. Socks should be the right fit, not too loose or too tight. Do not attempt to cut your own nails, they may be thick or discolored. Nails should be cut straight across and never below the skin.

Always shake out shoes before wearing them, if there are small pebbles in the shoes they can cause major problems. Having periodic foot exams is the only way to prevent serious problems with your feet.

People with diabetes often have several problems with their feet, particularly from nerve damage (neuropathy) and poor blood circulation. Diabetes related foot problems include :
 *Ulcers are infections that will not heal on their own, they require special attention and can cause serious problems.
 * Corns or Calluses can be caused because pressure from shoes is present but is unable to be felt due to neuropathy.
 * Poor circulation can cause drying of the skin, leading to cracks in the skin. These cracks can be dangerous if they become infected.
 * Fungal nails are an issue that many diabetics experience. Poor circulation can weaken the ability to fight off infections, fungus is an infection of the nails. Fungus is a treatable problem with diabetic patients but should be seen by a podiatrist.

Diabetics should have their feet checked regularly for problems. The only way to prevent limb loss is to be aware of your feet. Checking your feet daily and seeing your podiatrist regularly could reduce your risk of limb loss.