Statistics from the American Diabetes Association indicate that 24 million Americans suffer from diabetes. This disease is also the leading cause of amputations of feet, legs, and toes. Today, our podiatrist Dr. Hubert Lee of CarePlus Foot & Ankle Specialists outlines some of the risks associated with this disease and some tips for diabetic foot care.
Top 4 Risks for Patients With Diabetic Feet
As a person with diabetes, your feet face distinctive risks. Understanding them is the best way to avoid the common foot problems that come with this disease. Here are some of the most common foot health risks that people with diabetes have to cope with.
- Peripheral Arterial Disease: This disease reduces circulation and limits the amount of blood flow that reaches your feet, sometimes causing serious side effects.
- Infections: Blisters and abrasions are more dangerous for people with diabetes because blood flow to the feet is restricted so cuts cannot heal properly.
- Neuropathy: When your nerves do not function correctly, neuropathy occurs. This is particularly dangerous because if a patient cannot feel blisters or abrasions, they are at a higher risk of infection.
- Charcot Foot: This condition causes your foot to change its shape and is usually caused by fragile bones that break and collapse.
Daily Tips to Care For Your Diabetic Foot
With proper daily care, you can reduce the risk of having a foot ulcer or infection. Following are some tips to help maintain your healthy feet every day.
- Make it a habit of inspecting your feet each day for cuts, sores or red spots.
- Keep your feet clean and dry, paying particular attention to the area between your toes.
- Wear socks around the house to keep your feet warm.
- Exercise – it’s the best way to encourage blood flow to your feet.
- Do not cut your toenails around the corners to avoid getting an ingrown toenail; instead, cut them straight across.
- Improve blood circulation by quitting unhealthy habits such as smoking or sitting with your legs crossed for long periods.
If you notice any changes in your feet, it’s essential to visit your podiatrist right away to reduce the chance for infection or a more serious foot problem. Call the office of Dr. Hubert Lee of CarePlus Foot & Ankle Specialists today at (425) 455-0936 or schedule an appointment online.