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Foot Care for Diabetics: A Proactive Approach to Healthy Feet

Conveniently located to serve Portland, Lake Oswego, & West Linn

Boutique Podiatry Oregon Institute of Foot Care Lake Oswego

Diabetes can greatly affect foot health, resulting in complications ranging from neuropathy to infections. Recognizing these challenges, this guide emphasizes proactive measures for diabetic foot care to preserve healthy feet, thereby minimizing the risk of serious complications.

The Importance of Foot Care

Diabetes can cause diabetic neuropathy, a condition that diminishes sensation in the feet, making it difficult to detect injuries or infections early. Regular foot examinations and maintenance can significantly lower the risk of these complications. As such, diabetic foot care is important as it helps prevent complications such as foot ulcers, infections, and, in severe cases, amputation.

Daily Foot Care Routine

A daily foot care routine is fundamental for diabetics. Here are some tips to follow:

  • Start by washing your feet with mild soap and lukewarm water—check the water temperature with your elbow to avoid burns. 
  • After washing, dry your feet thoroughly, especially between the toes, to prevent fungal infections. 
  • Apply a moisturizer to prevent cracks, but avoid moisturizing between the toes. 
  • Inspect your feet daily for any signs of cuts, blisters, redness, swelling, or nail problems. 
  • Use a mirror to check the soles of your feet or ask for help if you’re unable to see them clearly.

Choosing the Right Shoes

Finding the right footwear is crucial for people with diabetes. Diabetes increases the risk of foot problems due to two main reasons. First, nerve damage (neuropathy) can numb the feet, making it difficult to feel pain from injuries or ill-fitting shoes. Second, poor circulation, common in diabetes, slows healing.  Even minor cuts or blisters can turn into serious infections.

Proper shoes can significantly reduce these risks. Look for shoes that are comfortable from the start and roomy enough to wiggle your toes. They should also provide good arch support and fit snugly to prevent pressure points that could cause blisters or ulcers.  Diabetic shoes are specially designed to address these concerns.  They often have extra depth to accommodate custom orthotics, which can further improve fit and pressure distribution on your feet.

Warning Signs of Foot Problems

It’s essential to be aware of the specific warning signs indicating potential foot problems, especially for those with diabetes. Early detection can prevent complications. Pay attention to:

  • Changes in skin color: A change in the color of your foot skin, such as darkening or redness, could indicate poor circulation or infection.
  • Swelling: Swelling in the feet or ankles without a clear cause can signal inflammation or infection.
  • Persistent pain: Ongoing pain that doesn’t improve with rest could be a sign of nerve damage or poor circulation.
  • Open sores that don’t heal: Sores or ulcers that are slow to heal might indicate diabetes-related complications.
  • Ingrown toenails: These can lead to infection if not treated properly.
  • Infections: Signs include warmth, redness, or discharge, particularly around wounds or sores.
  • Temperature differences: One foot feeling much colder or warmer than the other can be a sign of poor circulation.

If you notice any of these signs, it’s crucial to consult a trusted podiatrist for diabetics like Dr. Tyler Manson to address the issue before it becomes severe.

The Role of a Podiatrist

An experienced podiatrist specializing in diabetic foot care, like Dr. Manson, can play a critical role in your health team. Regular check-ups can help identify potential problems early, preventing complications. They can also provide guidance on foot care routines, recommend diabetic shoes, and create custom orthotics for diabetics to ensure optimal foot health. Remember, preventing foot ulcers in diabetes and managing foot infections requires specialized knowledge that a podiatrist can offer.

Schedule A Consultation

Maintaining healthy feet requires a proactive approach, especially for diabetics. Dr. Tyler Manson and the team at the Oregon Institute of Foot Care LLC, with locations in Portland, Lake Oswego, and West Linn, are here to guide you through every step of your foot care routine. From selecting the right shoes to custom orthotics for diabetics, our expertise ensures your feet are in good hands. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.