Diabetic Foot Care Hot Springs, AR
Individuals who live with diabetes must take an assortment of measures to successfully manage the disease. These include checking blood sugar levels, staying properly hydrated, and always being prepared in case blood sugar levels drop too low. One measure that people may not often consider is having a complete diabetic foot care plan. This disease affects the whole body, so it is only natural that feet, which play a major role for the human body, need to be factored in with diabetes management.
Diabetes is a serious medical ailment that can result in various complications, especially due to the poor circulation, nerve damage, and impaired ability to fight off infections that accompany the disease. With so many factors that can potentially lead to a major problem, there needs to be many components to diabetic foot care. These include:
- Daily Foot Inspection – Every night, be sure to check for any cuts, blisters, ulcers, swelling, redness, or nail problems. Have a loved one help if you cannot inspect the bottom of your feet or use a mirror, preferably one with magnifying properties. If anything is out of the ordinary, contact our office as soon as you can.
- Cleanliness – Wash your feet daily with warm (not hot!) water and a mild soap. This will help you prevent the risk of sustaining an infection due to fungus or bacteria that latch onto human feet or nails. Given that neuropathy (nerve damage) often accompanies diabetes, make sure that your water is not hot, so you do not risk burning yourself. Also, be gentle and use a soft sponge or wash cloth to avoid any tissue damage. Essentially, clean your feet with the care that you would give a newborn baby.
- Fending Off Infection – Fungal nails is an unsightly condition that is bad enough for otherwise healthy individuals, but can be especially problematic for those who have diabetes. If an infection sets in, your body has a diminished capacity to fight it off and this can become a major complication. Prevent this issue from happening in the first place by keeping your feet dry. After a shower or bath, be sure to dry between your toes because those areas are prime real estate for microorganisms that thrive in warm, damp environments.
- Not Too Dry – Excessively dry feet can lead to cracks and fissures, both of which can open the door for microorganisms to enter your body and create a troublesome infection. Every day you should use moisturizer to prevent dry skin from cracking or itching. Apply on the tops, bottoms, and heels of your feet, but do not use any between your toes as doing so could lead to a fungal infection.
- Nail Care – As someone who is living with diabetes, you need to pay close attention to how your nails are trimmed. They should be clipped straight across (not rounded) and not cut too short, in order to prevent ingrown toenails. If your nail grows into the soft skin next to it, you could be facing yet another opportunity for a potential infection.
- Socks and Shoes – Do not walk barefoot, even at home, and make sure your footwear fits. Inspect the insides of your shoes before you put them on, too. Due to your condition, your feet might be unable to feel a foreign object inside footwear. If there is something inside, it could lead to a cut or abrasion, which you clearly need to avoid. Wear clean, dry socks that fit well and do not have elastic bands.
- Smoking – If you are a smoker, you should take any step possible to kick the habit. Smoking will only contribute to circulation issues in your feet.
If you are living with diabetes, make an appointment today with Dr. Joseph LaCava at Central Arkansas Foot Care to develop a thorough diabetic foot care plan with him. Call our Hot Springs, AR office at (501) 321-4844 or use our online form to contact us.