When you have diabetes, it is especially important to regularly check your feet for cuts, sores, changes in skin color or redness and to see your podiatrist to help prevent serious foot complications. The good news is that most people with diabetes can prevent serious foot problems by taking care of their feet, getting regular exams and keeping their blood sugar in control.
Nerve damage from diabetes can affect how well you can feel your feet, so it is essential to inspect them daily for changes in temperature, skin or nail color, pain and swelling. A podiatrist can also examine your feet for areas of pressure or poor circulation that could cause ulcers.
Keeping your toenails clean and trimmed is another important way to avoid infection in your feet. If you have trouble cutting your toenails, ask your podiatrist for professional assistance and avoid using scissors that may be too sharp. If you have a corn or callus, do not try to remove it on your own – this can lead to an ingrown toenail and infection.
Wearing properly fitting shoes is another critical step to preventing diabetic foot complications. You should always buy shoes from a professional shoe store that will measure your feet and fit you correctly. Choose shoes with plenty of cushioning and do not wear high heels, sandals or shoes that have a strap across the toes.
Getting regular examinations by podiatrist Mosman Park is the best way to ensure that you have healthy, functioning feet. A podiatrist can recommend the right footwear, help you find appropriate padding and insoles to reduce foot pressures, and provide treatment for foot deformities like bunions, hammer toes and flat feet. A podiatrist can also teach you how to inspect your feet, including tips for checking for nerve and circulation problems that could lead to foot ulcers.
Diabetics have a greater risk of developing infections in their feet than people who don’t have diabetes. These infections can be serious. If left untreated, they can spread to the bloodstream and put the entire body at risk of shock or even death.
Foot and ankle infections can occur when the skin on a toe becomes damaged, such as from an injury or a cut. When this happens, it allows bacteria to enter the tissue and cause an infection. The best way to avoid infections is by seeing a podiatrist regularly for general check-ups. These visits allow the podiatrist to spot issues such as cracks or cuts on the skin of the feet.
The podiatrist can also treat toenail problems such as ingrown toenails. Ingrown toenails can be painful and can create a break in the skin that allows bacteria to enter. The podiatrist can trim and remove toenails, as well as treat fungus on the toenails.
Lastly, the podiatrist can help treat neuromas (painful, swollen nerves in the feet). Neuromas are often caused by narrow shoes that compress and irritate the feet, especially for women who wear high heels. The podiatrist can develop a treatment plan that may include surgery, medication or physical therapy to relieve the pain and retrain the muscles in the feet.
If you have diabetes, you need to see a podiatrist regularly for your diabetic foot care. These health professionals can help you manage your diabetes better so that you don’t have to worry about complications in the future. They can also teach you how to care for your feet, including proper exercises and the use of shoe inserts and padding.
Prevent Foot Ulcers
Taking care of your feet is the best way to prevent foot ulcers. A podiatrist can teach you to regularly inspect your feet for sores or changes in skin color, and to keep your feet clean, dry and covered with shoes. This includes making sure your socks don’t have tight bands or thick seams that can rub against your skin and irritate it. You should also choose shoes that fit well and don’t rub your feet, especially between the toes. Ill-fitting shoes can cause blisters and sores, which then lead to infections.
When you visit your podiatrist, they’ll start by asking about your medical history and current symptoms. Then they’ll do a physical exam of your feet, paying special attention to the bones in your toes and the way you move your legs and feet when you walk or run. They’ll also look at your shoes to see if they’re giving you the support you need.
If you develop an ulcer, your doctor will advise you on how to treat it. This might involve using a specialized dressing that draws blood to the area, allowing it to heal more quickly. More extensive ulcers that affect the deeper layers of skin or muscle (picture 4) may require debridement and surgery to remove dead tissue. If infection is present, your doctor will prescribe antibiotics to kill bacteria.
Your podiatrist can also treat heel pain, heel spurs and toenail problems. He or she might recommend a custom orthotic shoe insert, physical therapy or surgery. You can also reduce the risk of these problems by wearing properly fitted shoes, wearing padded insoles in your shoes or switching to soft-tread sneakers for walking and running.
Prevent Foot Deformities
Podiatrists help keep people mobile and active by diagnosing and treating foot problems. They also offer advice and guidance to prevent common problems, such as bunions and hammertoes. They may recommend a range of treatments, including shoe inserts, padding and taping, physical therapy and medication. Some podiatric procedures include surgery to treat deformities.
While the feet are usually out of sight, out of mind, they are critical to overall health. Problems with the feet can have an impact on the whole body, particularly the legs and back. If left untreated, foot disorders can cause pain and lead to disability.
Having a podiatrist on your medical team is essential for managing foot problems, especially if you have diabetes. Your podiatrist can help you avoid or prevent complications like foot ulcers, amputations and infections. They can also advise you on how to improve your quality of life by maintaining good foot care and avoiding extreme temperatures.
In addition to assisting with general foot and ankle issues, podiatrists can help you cope with chronic conditions like arthritis, bunions, hammertoes and calluses. They can also treat injuries to the foot, ankle and lower leg. These include fractures and sprains.
To prevent these conditions, wear shoes that fit well and don’t rub against your feet. Get your shoes professionally fitted at least once a year. Promote blood flow to your feet by putting your feet up when sitting, wriggling your toes several times a day and getting enough exercise. You should also trim your toenails straight across and never shave them. Also, protect your feet from hot and cold weather, wear shoes when walking on the beach or around radiant heaters.
Prevent Foot Pain
A podiatrist has years of training to understand the complexities of your feet. The human foot has 26 bones, 33 joints (20 of which actively articulate), and more than a hundred muscles, tendons, and ligaments. They do a lot of work and must be strong to support your weight through all the miles you’ll put on them in your lifetime.
A common problem that a podiatrist treats in older adults is arthritis. They can help ease the pain and inflammation caused by this condition through medication, physical therapy, and orthotic devices. They also treat bunions, calluses, and hammertoes.
People with diabetes should have their feet checked annually. A podiatrist will examine the feet, including the soles, and look at your blood circulation to see if you have any problems getting enough oxygenated blood to your feet. They can advise you on shoes that fit well and are not too tight or pointed. It is also important to trim toenails correctly, avoiding cutting them too close or leaving rough edges.
A podiatrist can also help prevent nerve damage (neuropathy) that can cause painful, numb or insensitive feet. This can lead to minor cuts and blisters not being felt and to developing ulcers. Using a soft towel to gently massage your feet, or using a foot roller, can reduce the inflammation and stiffness associated with neuropathy. Keeping your feet dry and wearing well-fitting, protective footwear will also help. If you have diabetes, it is a good idea to use only low-heeled shoes that are padded and have good arch supports. You should wear socks at all times. And make sure to check your feet daily for any signs of a sore or red area.