Over 34 million Americans are estimated to currently have diabetes, a chronic disease that is the result of high blood sugar levels. At Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care, we want patients to understand the impact this condition can have on your feet. Blood sugar levels not adequately controlled can impede your body’s immune system, making it difficult to fight infections. Neuropathy or nerve damage can also occur, resulting in a loss of sensation in your feet and an increased risk for injuries and painful conditions to go unnoticed. The bones, joints, and skin of patients with diabetes can all be affected by the disease. Diabetic patients are at an increased risk for several foot problems, including:
- Fungal infections
- Ingrown toenails
- Athlete’s foot
- Corns and calluses
- Peripheral arterial disease
- Skin ulcers and wounds
The good news is that there is much you can do to prevent these and other foot conditions if you have diabetes. Below are some do’s and don’ts to observe:
Do: Inspect your feet daily. At the first sign of rashes, wounds, blisters, cuts, swelling, bruising, or anything else out of the ordinary, contact our Edison (732-204-6630), Monroe (732-204-6802) or Monmouth Junction (732-204-6945) office set up an appointment. It’s critical for our podiatrists, Dr. Varun Gujral and Dr. Nrupa Shah, to examine your feet and catch any developing disorders in their earliest stages.
Don’t: attempt to cut out ingrown nails, remove corns or warts, and do other physically invasive procedures on yourself. It could easily lead to injury and/or infection. Allow our podiatric professionals to take care of these tasks.
Do: keep feet dry. If you tend to sweat excessively, keep a spare pair of socks with you, and change when your feet feel damp. Dust your feet with a foot or anti-fungal powder before putting on your socks.
Don’t: wear shoes or socks that are too tight and squeeze the toes together. It can impede circulation and increase the risk of ingrown toenails.
Do: wear shoes at home and in public places. It will decrease the risk of cuts, puncture wounds, and infections.
Don’t: expose your feet to direct heat from an electric blanket, fireplace, etc. Do not put your feet in hot water. The decreased sensation may prohibit you from detecting a burn.