Diabetes affects the whole body, but your lower limbs are especially vulnerable. Most of the problems you may encounter with your feet will result from vascular and neurological problems. Elevated blood sugar levels can cause the blood vessels in your legs and feet to harden and narrow. This greatly affects your circulation, which can inhibit the healing process should you sustain an injury or develop an infection. Fluctuating sugars can also damage the nerves in your feet. Diabetic nerve damage, also referred to as neuropathy, lessens your ability to feel pain, heat and cold.
Risks and Complications: Why is Foot Care So Important?
This loss of feeling can allow an injury to go unnoticed. A wound as small as a blister or a minor cut, or a scrape that happens without your knowledge, can turn into an ulcer or serious, non-healing wound due to poor circulation. When a wound is not healing, the risk for infection is high, which can lead to amputation without the proper intervention and treatment. Another foot complication that can arise is a condition called Charcot foot. It is one of the most debilitating foot problems diabetics face. Numbness in the foot and lack of ability to feel pain can cause a person with diabetes to keep walking on a stress fracture or other type of injury. Over time, the damaged bone can become warped and misshapen and unable to bear weight.
How Should I Care For My Feet?
The best diabetic foot care involves a daily routine that just becomes habit, regular evaluations with Dr. Danciger, and prompt treatment at the onset of any new symptoms. For basic do’s and don’ts, we encourage you to keep your feet warm and dry; invest in shoes that fit your feet and support them well; stop smoking, as it contributes to a decrease in blood flow; inspect your feet every day for puncture wounds, bruises, pressure areas, redness, warmth, blisters, ulcers, scratches, cuts, and nail discoloration; and trim your nails properly with clean, sterile tools.
We pride ourselves on providing excellent foot care with state-of-the-art treatment to those living in and around Palm Desert, CA. Contact Dr. Harvey Danciger should you need diabetic foot care or have any concerns about your foot health. Call our office at (760) 568-0108 or request an appointment online.