At Foot and Ankle Specialists of Central PA, we know that diabetic patients have special foot health care needs. Two conditions commonly associated with this disease, decreased circulation and neuropathy, conspire together to make certain minor foot issues potential major medical threats for diabetic patients. Injuries and infections are much more difficult to heal when blood flow is less than optimal. Neuropathy makes it difficult to perceive pain and temperature accurately and increases the risk of injury or other disorders to develop unnoticed. Below are five precautions that diabetic patients should take to protect their feet.
- Don’t go barefoot. Keeping your feet covered provides protection from fungal and viral infections that are spread by direct contact. Even at home, wearing socks and shoes will prevent cuts and puncture wounds caused by stepping on sharp objects.
- Avoid electric blankets. Ditto for space heaters and putting your feet up in front of the fire. If you have neuropathy, it may be difficult for you to tell just how hot any of these items is and you could end up burning your feet.
- Properly trim nails. It’s important that you keep your nails trimmed straight across and with no rounded edges to avoid ingrown toenails. Get help with nail care if you are unable to do them on your own.
- No bathroom surgeries! Never attempt to cut out an ingrown toenail, pop a blister or get rid of a wart with acid-based over-the-counter products. These practices are all likely to lead to a worse injury and the potential for infection.
- Inspect feet daily. Look over your entire foot every day. Examine the skin for cuts, rashes, blisters or dry skin.
Any lumps, growths, bruises or other unusual symptoms should be reported to our doctors Terry H. Clarke and Karen M. Leonard who will diagnose you and treat you appropriately. Our office serves patients in Mechanicsburg, Camp Hill, Harrisburg and surround communities in Cumberland County. We are located at 4 Flowers Drive, Suite 2, Mechanicsburg, PA, 17050. Visit the Foot Docs by calling 1-717-FOOTDOC!