If you’re diabetic, it’s crucial that you take proper care of your feet because you’re more susceptible to foot problems. The disease can reduce blood flow to your feet and injure your nerves. So because November is Diabetes Awareness Month, today Dr. Amanda Bartell and Dr. Andrew Bartell of North Florida Foot & Ankle Center are spreading awareness by sharing their top tips for diabetic foot care.
According to estimates by the American Diabetes Association (ADA), one in five diabetics has to seek medical care for foot injuries and issues. Proper care is imperative because minor injuries can quickly turn into major ones.
Here are our top tips for diabetic foot care.
- Take walks frequently and increase your activity level.
- Each day examine your feet to look for any blisters, swelling, cuts, soreness, or redness. (If you can’t see the bottom of your feet, use a mirror to check them or seek help from someone else.)
- Wash your feet each day and dry them completely, particularly between the toes.
- When applying lotion to your feet, use just a small amount, being sure to avoid putting any between your toes.
- Trim your toenails straight across without cutting them too short, and then file with a nail file or emery board.
- Visit a podiatrist at least one or two times per year for a thorough checkup.
- Don’t cross your legs. Instead, when seated, move your feet around and wiggle your toes. If you are disposed to swelling in your ankles or feet, raise them when sitting.
- If you develop ingrown nails, calluses, corns, or other worrisome foot-related issues, see your podiatrist.
- Protect your feet from cold and hot temperatures. Never use hot water bottles, electric blankets, or heating pads as you can burn your feet without knowing.
- Work with your healthcare providers to keep your blood glucose levels within your target range.
- Avoid smoking and tobacco products, as they increase the danger of long-term complications.
How long has it been since your last checkup? If it’s been more than a year – don’t hesitate! Contact the office of Dr. Amanda Bartell and Dr. Andrew Bartell of North Florida Foot & Ankle Center today to schedule an appointment while it’s on your mind. You can call us at (904) 236-5023 or contact us online.