Diabetic foot care
Diabetes Management, Orthopedics

Get One Step Ahead of Diabetes with Daily Foot Checks

If you or a loved one has diabetes, it’s important to be aware of proper foot care. An estimated 50% of those living with diabetes have nerve damage caused by too much blood sugar, and this most often impacts the legs and feet. Podiatrist Dimitrios Moustakas, DPM, a foot and ankle specialist with Bayhealth Orthopedics, explains why and shares tips that can help.

“Individuals with diabetes are prone to foot problems for several reasons,” said Dr. Moustakas. “The disease affects the blood flow to the foot and lessens their ability to heal, and their ability to feel their feet. Therefore, someone could step on an object and get injured without even knowing. Diabetes also decreases the immune system—the body’s ability to fight infection. The combination of these three factors can cause significant harm, including life-threatening illness or amputations.”

In addition to constant management and monitoring of blood sugar levels, individuals with diabetes should follow these foot care tips:

  1. Check your feet daily. Make this a part of your regular hygiene routine at the start of each day or after showering. Use a mirror if it’s hard for you to see the bottoms of your feet or have someone else inspect them.

  2. Look for any cuts, nicks or scrapes that do not seem to be healing over the course of a week or show any signs of infection such as redness, warmth, drainage, or a bad smell. Notice any discoloration of the skin, increased pain or change in temperature of the skin (hot or cold). Any of these are signs that you should seek medical attention.

  3. Always make sure your shoes and footwear fit properly, and limit time being barefoot.

  4. See a podiatrist once a year to have a professional exam. This will determine if any early signs of diabetic foot complications are developing.

“If there are any concerns or questions about lower extremity conditions, it’s best to seek professional evaluation,” Dr. Moustakas said. Early identification and intervention are key to preventing foot or leg concerns from turning into serious complications.

Dr. Moustakas sees patients at the Bayhealth Orthopedics, Smyrna office, located at 315 North Carter Road, Smyrna, DE 19977. Call 302-730-4366 to make an appointment or visit Bayhealth.org to learn more about our medical practices and services.

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