Foot Doctors & Diabetes
A podiatrist should be a part of every diabetic’s health plan. Professional foot exams and treatment are extremely important to diabetic patients, and can substantially lower the risk of amputation and hospitalization.
Complications for diabetics can include poor blood circulation and nerve damage which can make the feet vulnerable to ulcers (sores) that can worsen. An ulcer that doesn’t heal can potentially cause damage to tissue and bone, which could lead to the need for an amputation of the toe, foot or lower leg.
Foot Tips for Diabetics
Feet should be checked on a daily basis for cuts and blisters so they can be treated before they get infected. Calluses and corns should be carefully smoothed (not cut), preferably by a podiatrist to avoid an infection or ulcer. Toe nails should also be trimmed. Diabetic nerve damage (neuropathy) reduces feeling in the foot, making it less likely that a person would feel a small cut or ulcer. That is why the feet need to be inspected on a daily basis.
Diabetics need to keep their feet dry, warm and moisturized (not between the toes). Foot wear and socks should be worn at all times to protect the feet.
When To See a Podiatrist
Examples of symptoms a diabetic person may have that warrant an appointment with a podiatrist include but are not limited to:
- Dry, Cracked Skin
- Changes in Skin Color
- Swelling (Foot or Ankle)
- Slow to Heal Sores (Ulcers)
- Slow to Heal Blisters & Cuts
- Toenail Fungus
- Ingrown Toenails
- Numbness (Foot or Toes)
In addition to treating foot conditions, a podiatrist can show you how to examine, protect and care for your feet when you are home. Proper foot care, diet and medical care can help a person with diabetes avoid serious complications and remain active.
The Center For Musculoskeletal Disorders has Podiatrist on staff that are highly trained and experienced at diagnosing and treating foot disorders and injuries. Comprehensive foot evaluations are recommended to patients who have diabetes.