People with diabetes can develop many different foot problems. Even seemingly small problems may eventually lead to serious complications. If you have a wound on your foot, you may not think the wound is big enough to ask your doctor about, but if you have diabetes you need to make your doctor aware of any foot wound.
Nerve health and good circulation are critical for healthy feet and legs. Unfortunately, diabetes puts both in jeopardy and the result can be the development of diabetic foot ulcers, which can lead to complications. They are often difficult to heal and may become chronic in nature. There are several reasons that wounds may not heal, but one major reason may be that over time high blood sugar levels can injure your blood vessels, which may result in decreased blood flow to the wound.
The best way to prevent diabetic foot complications is to keep your blood sugar levels in your target range. Also be sure to protect your feet! Always wear properly fitting socks and shoes to prevent blisters and other injuries. Ask your doctor about special footwear to prevent any rubbing or pressure caused by foot deformities like bunions or hammer toes. Exercise and eat a healthy diet.
Wash your feet daily in warm (not hot) water – always dry them well and keep your feet properly moisturized to prevent cracking. Check your feet daily for any abnormalities such as cuts, bruises, spots, blisters or fungus. Use a mirror so you can see all parts of your feet. Do not try to treat abnormalities on your own! Let your doctor or wound care specialist help you with corns, calluses or cuts that don’t heal. Have your feet professionally checked – just like your eyes and kidneys – at least once a year.