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The Importance of Diabetic Foot Care

When you have a chronic health condition, you may feel like you spend a significant amount of your time tending to your health. Between various doctors’ appointments, trips to the pharmacy, and taking care of your body, you may wonder when you’re supposed to do anything else. Is it a big deal if you occasionally overlook your feet?

If you have diabetes, you need to be vigilant in your foot care routine, and you should see a podiatrist regularly. The good news is that by doing those things, your feet can continue to carry you through your life.

Dr. Svetlana Malinsky and our podiatry team work closely with all of our diabetic patients. We want to make sure that you have the information you need in order to properly care for your feet at home and that you understand the importance of regular visits to our office for diabetic foot care

Why daily foot care is important for diabetics

Roughly half of people with diabetes develop a type of nerve damage called diabetic neuropathy. Diabetic neuropathy can happen anywhere in your body, but it occurs most commonly in your legs and feet. 

This nerve damage can mean that you have tingling or numbness or that you lose your ability to feel. You may not even realize that you have nerve damage, but that is dangerous.

Diabetes can also affect your blood flow. And poor circulation can, in turn, affect your ability to heal. 

The combination of being unable to feel pain and having problems healing means you’re susceptible to serious health issues. Something as innocuous as a small cut on the bottom of your foot after spending an afternoon in the backyard barefoot could put you at risk of losing your foot.

Because when you don’t notice a small wound, it can end up becoming infected. With insufficient blood flow, it may be difficult or even impossible for the infection to resolve and for the wound to heal. To avoid that situation, it’s important to have a regular foot care routine.

How to care for your feet at home

Each day, you should inspect your feet closely. Look for marks, cuts, bruises, dry patches and cracks, or other small injuries.

In addition to the inspection, you should carefully wash your feet each day, using lukewarm water, soap, and a soft cloth or sponge. Be gentle so that you don’t cause any damage. 

After washing, carefully dry your feet, including between your toes. Use moisturizer on the surfaces of your feet to prevent dry, cracked skin — but do not moisturize between your toes because dampness between your toes can encourage fungal growth.

Always wear socks and shoes to protect your feet, and make sure to change your socks each day. If your feet get cold at night, wear socks rather than using a heating pad. 

When you trim your nails, be sure to trim them straight across. If you’re not comfortable trimming your nails, talk to us about it. We can help with that! 

Podiatric care for diabetic feet

If you have a callus, bunion, blister, ingrown toenail, or other foot problem, schedule an appointment with Svetlana Malinsky, DPM PC, immediately for proper care. For routine diabetic foot care, be sure to schedule a visit at least once a year to keep your feet healthy.

We provide comprehensive care to help you avoid foot-related complications. Call our office in College Park, Maryland, or use our online booking tool to make an appointment.

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