As you may or may not know, November is national diabetes month. Unfortunately national diabetes month is not as well known as breast cancer awareness month or heart health awareness month. Diabetes affects millions of people in the United States and unfortunately the lower extremities are greatly affected by this condition.
Advice for Diabetic Patients:
- Check feet daily: Many diabetics cannot feel their feet due to neuropathy (nerve damage) It is common for a patient with diabetes to step on something (a tac, needle, etc.) and not even know they stepped on it. Be sure to use your eyes to inspect feet daily. If unable to do this easily, you can use a mirror or a mirror on a pole to see the bottom of feet. Report any abnormalities to your podiatrist immediately.
- Don’t walk barefoot: Diabetic patients should never walk barefoot (even going from the bed to the bathroom at night)
- Soaking feet: Don’t soak your feet in hot water. Diabetic patients cannot feel the temperature of the water as well as the general population. If you are going to soak your feet, have someone feel the water before you put your feet into it in order to make sure its not too hot.
- Check the inside of shoes before putting them on: It is common for diabetic patients to have pebbles, tooth picks etc. in their shoes that they do not feel due to neuropathy. Check your shoes with your eyes before putting them on and remove any foreign objects.
- Don’t remove corns or calluses on own: If you have corns or calluses, see a podiatrist for evaluation and treatment. Removing on own predisposes you to cutting yourself leading to infection. Also NEVER use over the counter medicated corn/callus remover as this can burn the skin and cause ulceration
All diabetic patients should establish care with a podiatrist. It is recommended that a diabetic patient without any complications should see a podiatrist yearly. A diabetic with neuropathy or other complications should see a podiatrist more frequently.
If you are a diabetic or know someone who is a diabetic, the doctors at Quality Foot Care of Doylestown would be happy to evaluate you. Call 215-230-9707 to make an appointment with Doylestown’s community podiatrists.