It’s not always easy to follow a routine. We lead busy, connected lives and often have to juggle chaotic schedules and multiple responsibilities. Taking a little time each day to do the things we need to do—eat a healthy breakfast, take a walk after sitting for a few hours, get enough sleep—can be difficult. If you have diabetes, a daily self-exam of your lower limbs is another important routine that you may be tempted to skimp on—or skip altogether. Don’t! Diabetic foot care is of the utmost importance. Even relatively minor nicks and scrapes can snowball. Complications from diabetes are a leading cause of hospitalizations and amputations in the United States, and the vast majority of cases are preventable with vigilant at-home care. So check your feet thoroughly every day! If for any reason you are unable to view your entire foot, use a mirror or ask a friend or loved one to help you.
If you notice any problems with your feet, here are a few quick tips on what to do:
Dry, Cracked Skin: Use moisturizing lotion to keep you skin soft and prevent breaks, but avoid applying between toes where fungus can grow.
Cuts and Scratches: If they’re minor, wash with mild soap and water, then dry and cover with a sterile bandage. For ulcers and serious cuts (involving redness, oozing, or discharge), call us immediately.
Blisters: Clean the area and apply a bandage. Do not pop.
Redness or Itchiness: This could be a sign of athlete’s foot. It’s important to deal with this as quickly as possible to prevent the infection from spreading. You can use an over-the-counter topical antifungal, or ask us for a recommendation.
Ingrown Toenails: To prevent this common issue, trim your nails at least once a week, straight across. If you have an ingrown nail, schedule an appointment with us right away so we can treat it before it becomes infected.
Black or Blue Skin: Get to a hospital immediately. You are experiencing significant blood flow issues that require emergency treatment.
For more diabetic foot care tips, check our free patient education library. If you need a regular check-up for your feet—or if you discover any problems—call Family Foot and Ankle Center. We have six Greater Cincinnati offices to serve you. Dial (513) 728-4800 in Ohio, or (859) 282-1572 for our office in Florence, KY.