Far too many people with diabetes wait too long to report foot pain or injuries, which can lead to significant consequences. Proactive diabetic foot care is essential, and according to John Taylor, D.P.M., F.A.C.F.A.S., F.A.P.W.C.A., podiatrist at El Paso Specialty Hospital, working closely with your doctor to monitor your feet is an essential part of managing diabetes and staying healthy.
“Let your doctor know right away about anything new occurring, or changes such as redness or cuts that don’t heal quickly,” recommends Dr. Taylor. “Keeping your doctor informed allows you to begin treating the cause before anything gets worse or causes more significant damage. If left untreated, you may find yourself needing surgery or, in some cases, amputation.”
Individuals with diabetes can be at risk for nerve damage, infection due to reduced blood flow to the feet, and other potential injuries. Here are four foot tips to help you keep your feet healthy and your diabetes in check:
- Meet with your doctor regularly: Your doctor is your trusted partner in helping you manage your diabetes and care for your feet. Keep regular appointments and get your feet examined annually, or more frequently if you’re experiencing any problems.
- Check your feet daily: Watch for hot spots, signs of redness, blisters, or cuts that aren’t healing quickly. Reach out to your doctor right away if any of these signs occur. Even sending your doctor a photo can help them advise you on the next steps to take.
- Keep your feet clean: Make sure you are washing your feet daily, and apply a thin layer of lotion. Be sure to wear shoes and socks to keep your feet clean, dry, and protected.
- Stay active: Get regular exercise, but go easy on your feet. Take breaks throughout the day to rotate your ankles and wiggle your toes to help keep blood flowing.
Start today to ensure you stay on track with managing your diabetes and keeping your feet healthy. Make an appointment to talk with your doctor about your personal proactive care plan.