Diabetic Foot Care Treatment

What is diabetic foot care?

Diabetes is a condition that causes blood sugar levels to rise. While diabetes is manageable, if left untreated, it can lead to an onset of additional complications, including problems affecting the foot. The two most common diabetic complications that can impact the foot are peripheral vascular disease, which causes poor circulation, and diabetic neuropathy, which causes nerve damage. These complications can lead to foot deformities, bone and joint deterioration, loss of feeling, foot ulcers, infection, and gangrene. Treatment of diabetic foot conditions can include hospitalization and, in serious cases, amputation of the affected foot. Because of the serious outcomes associated with diabetes-affected feet, diabetic foot care is essential for helping to provide necessary wound care and help salvage affected limbs.

When is diabetic foot care needed?

Diabetic foot care is recommended in patients who have been diagnosed with diabetes and in patients who are suffering from diabetes-related complications and conditions, including:

  • Nerve damage
  • Poor circulation
  • Foot deformities
  • Infection
  • Ulcers

What does diabetic foot care involve?

Diabetic foot care involves self-care measures that can help prevent the occurrence and progression of diabetic foot conditions. Self-care tips and recommendations may include:

  • Maintaining an appropriate blood sugar level
  • Always wearing shoes or slippers to help prevent injury to the foot
  • Washing your feet daily with warm water and gently drying them
  • Avoid soaking your feet
  • Applying lotion to prevent the skin from cracking and reduce the risk of infection
  • Trimming the nails straight across to help prevent ingrown toenails
  • Avoiding the use of antiseptics on your feet
  • Keeping the feet warm, but limiting exposure to extreme hot and cold temperatures
  • Avoiding smoking, which can harm blood vessels, decrease circulation, and increase the risk of amputation
  • Checking your feet daily for any signs or injury, swelling, or infection

Wearing the wrong shoes can increase the risk of infection or foot ulcers. Diabetic foot care may also involve ensuring that your footwear is appropriate to the needs of your foot, this includes:

  • Wearing comfortable shoes that do not require the foot to adjust to the shoe
  • Having a store professional measure your feet whenever you purchase a new pair of shoes
  • Wearing a different pair of shoes each day
  • Not wearing the same shoe for more than two hours in a row
  • Checking the interior of your shoe before placing it on your foot
  • Tying the laces of your shoes so they are not too tight or too loose
  • Checking your feet periodically during long walks for signs of irritation or ulcers
  • Orthotics to help prevent pressure ulcers of the foot

What are the benefits of diabetic foot care?

If you have been diagnosed with diabetes, diabetic foot care can help prevent the progression of diabetic-related conditions that affect the feet. Appropriate foot care can help:

  • Provide wound care
  • Improve foot health
  • Reduce the need for hospital visits
  • Salvage affected limbs

If you have been diagnosed with diabetes and would like to learn more about diabetic foot care, request an appointment with us today. Our friendly and accommodating staff provides prompt and punctual service and is dedicated to providing high-end, compassionate podiatric care. At Northeastern Foot & Ankle, board-certified podiatrist Dr. Khoury takes the time to carefully listen to and understand your medical and cosmetic concerns, recommending and providing the most appropriate treatment options paired with innovative and emerging technologies to help meet your podiatric needs. Call 973.473.6665 or scroll to the top of the page to request an appointment.