Seeing a podiatrist is key to keeping your feet healthy. This is especially true if you have a condition such as diabetes.
Diabetes places a person at risk of a number of different foot problems. For example:
Loss of sensation.
Those with diabetes often have nerve damage or poor circulation in their feet. This is dangerous since the nerve damage can cause a loss of sensation and limit your overall mobility.
Diabetes can lead to foot ulcers that are slow to heal or don’t heal at all. If the ulcer does not heal properly, it can lead to an infection.
An injury or foot ulcer that becomes infected can lead to the need for amputation.
When to See a Podiatrist
See a podiatrist annually for a foot exam. This preventative care can help you avoid the complications that can be associated with poor blood sugar control. Just as you watch your diet, test your blood sugar levels, and go to your endocrinologist for regular checkups, seeing a podiatrist is a part of managing your diabetes and ensuring that you’re able to maintain your overall quality of life.
If you experience any problems or abnormalities with your feet between exams, you should schedule an appointment to discuss treatment options. If you experience any of the following symptoms, consult with a podiatrist immediately:
- Burning or tingling in your feet
- Sudden pain in your legs or feet
- Inability to feel hot or cold
- Loss of sensation
- Change in shape, color, or appearance of feet
- Blister or wound on your feet that does not heal
- Loss of hair on your legs, feet, or toes
- Ingrown toenail or thickened toenails
- Fungal infection
- Dry, cracked skin on the heels
How a Podiatrist Can Help Diabetics
If you have diabetes, a podiatrist can address any small issue before it becomes a big problem. Some things that a podiatrist can do are:
- Screen for peripheral arterial disease or neuropathy
- Conduct a visual inspection of the feet to check for any abnormalities or injuries
- Trim toenails
- Remove calluses or corns
- Treat dry, hardened skin on the heels of the feet
- Recommend specific types of footwear or orthotics
- Correct a foot deformity
In addition, a podiatrist can teach you important ways to care for your diabetic feet at home. Some tips for keeping your feet healthy are:
- Do daily self-checks of your feet to look for any signs of injury, blisters, or unusual changes in the temperature, color, or appearance of your feet or toes.
- If you cut your toenails, trim them straight across and round the edges. This can help prevent ingrown toenails from happening.
- Wash your feet daily using warm water and mild soap. Do not soak your feet. Always dry your feet completely after washing and pay close attention to the area between your toes.
- Do not go barefoot to prevent injuring the bottoms of your feet. Always wear socks to protect your feet and shoes that fit properly.
One of the most important things to keep in mind is to see a podiatrist at the first signs of a problem. Early treatment is key to avoiding hospitalization or the life-changing effects of an amputation.
Do You Need The Help Of An Experienced and Caring Podiatrist? Contact Our El Paso Foot Doctor Today.
If you're experiencing any type of foot pain you should speak with an experienced podiatrist as soon as possible. Please contact us online to schedule your appoinment or call one of our convenient El Paso offices directly. To reach our Sierra Tower Building podiatrist office please call 915.533.5151. You can find driving directions here. To reach our George Dieter Drive podiatry office please call 915.856.3331. Driving directions are available here.