10 tips to help diabetics prevent foot injuries
If you have diabetes, foot wounds are something you want to avoid because even small wounds can quickly become a big issue. Robert Klein, DPM, shared how critical it is to keep a keen eye out for sores on the feet when you are diabetic.
Why are foot injuries dangerous if you have diabetes?
People with diabetes are more at risk for developing neuropathy, which is nerve damage that causes numbness.
“Diabetics can develop a small callus and walk on it because they are unaware it is there due to neuropathy,” Dr. Klein said. “The callus can then develop into a hole in their foot. That hole can become infected and go to the bone, causing the infection to go up their leg. They could get very sick and develop sepsis, and that could lead to amputation. As a diabetic, taking good care of your feet is very important.”
Many people dismiss a wound on their foot, thinking it will get better by itself, but it can go south quickly if you have diabetes.
“Diabetics don’t have the same type of immune response that nondiabetics do and they don’t fight infection as well,” Dr. Klein explained. “A minor problem can become a major problem very quickly. If anything looks unusual, like red streaks going up your foot or a dark area inside a callus that could indicate bleeding, seek care quickly. No wound is too small. It is important to get any wound or potential wound checked out. Wounds that do not heal can lead to infection and, in worse cases, amputation, so even small wounds should be cared for properly.”
How can you prevent diabetic foot injuries?
Dr. Klein shared these tips to help you prevent foot injuries from occurring.
- Inspect your feet daily.
- Make sure your feet stay clean.
- Check between your toes to make sure there are no sores or fungal infections.
- Look inside your shoes for any type of foreign object, such as a pebble.
- Look for any breaks or cracks in your skin.
- Check for the formation of a callus.
- Wear socks and supportive shoes that fit properly.
- Don’t walk around with bare feet, even indoors.
- Keep your toenails clean and manicured.
- Protect your feet from the extremes – hot and cold.
Use these tips to prevent wounds and to keep track of the condition of your feet. If you have a wound or a potential wound, please talk to your doctor.