If you have diabetes, it’s important to receive diabetic foot care on a regular basis. Routine checkups can alert you to potentially serious issues early on, ensuring your feet remain healthy. At North Florida Foot & Ankle Specialists, Joshua Epstein, DPM, AACFAS, FACPM, and Sarina Epstein, DPM, AACFAS, offer diabetic foot care to people of all ages. To make an appointment at the practice in Gainesville or Lake City, Florida, call the nearest office or click the online booking feature today.
What is diabetic foot care?
Diabetic foot care helps people with diabetes keep their feet healthy and problem-free. It combines regular medical exams, daily blood sugar monitoring, exercise, and a healthy, nutritious diet to keep your blood sugar levels in check.
If you’re living with diabetes, you’re also more likely to experience foot-related health problems like poor circulation, permanent nerve damage, and slow-healing wounds. Diabetic foot care tries to prevent these and other issues through healthy living and lifestyle modifications.
Who can benefit from diabetic foot care?
Everyone with diabetes should have a diabetic foot exam at least yearly. If you experience the following symptoms, schedule a visit right away:
- Burning or tingling feet
- Loss of sensation in your feet
- Changes in the color or shape of your feet
- Loss of hair on your toes, feet, or lower legs
- Slow-healing wounds
You also benefit from diabetic foot care if you have toenails that are thick, yellow, or ingrown or you have ulcers that require advanced care.
What does a diabetic foot care appointment involve?
At North Florida Foot & Ankle Specialists, an initial diabetic foot care appointment begins with a review of your medical history and a discussion of your symptoms. Let your provider know the type of diabetes you have, when you were first diagnosed, and if you’ve experienced any complications.
Next, your provider thoroughly examines your feet, toes, and ankles. They look for any potential issues, such as cuts, scrapes, sores, calluses, or athlete’s foot. If your provider discovers any potential problems, they develop a custom treatment plan that aligns with your needs.
How can I reduce the risk of diabetes-related foot problems?
To reduce the risk of diabetes-related foot problems, North Florida Foot & Ankle Specialists recommends:
Inspecting your feet daily
When you first wake up in the morning, take a few minutes to assess the appearance of your feet and toes. If you’re unable to check your feet, ask a friend or family member to help. If you discover any cuts, blisters, ingrown toenails, or plantar warts, make an appointment right away.
Wear appropriate shoes and socks
Change into a new pair of clean socks daily. Always wear shoes or slippers, even at home, to protect your feet from cuts, scrapes, and other types of injuries.
Monitor your blood sugar throughout the day
If you have diabetes, it’s crucial to monitor your blood sugar. If your blood sugar is too high for extended periods, the risk of permanent nerve damage, infection, and gangrene increases significantly.
Moisturize your skin
If the skin on your feet is dry, it’s more likely to crack and break. Applying a lotion or oil once or twice a day can reduce the risk of both these issues.
To learn more about the benefits of diabetic foot care, make an appointment at North Florida Foot & Ankle Specialists. Call the nearest office today or schedule online.