Diabetic Foot Care
If you have diabetes, your feet need special care to prevent serious complications, like an amputation.
That’s why it’s important to schedule regular diabetic foot exams at Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Center (OFAC) in Falls Church and Arlington, Virginia. For high-quality diabetic foot care in the Washington, DC, area, call or request an appointment online today.
Diabetic Foot Care Q & A
What are the common diabetic foot problems? Back to top
When you have diabetes, seemingly minor foot problems, like an open wound or ingrown toenail, can escalate into major health issues. Diabetes affects your feet in two main ways:
Nerve damage (neuropathy)
Between 60-70% of people with diabetes develop neuropathy. This nerve damage can occur anywhere in your body, but the nerves of your feet and legs are the most commonly affected.
Nerve damage may reduce your ability to feel sensations like heat, cold, or pain. While resistance to pain may sound like an advantage, it’s actually a big health risk. Without pain perception, you may not realize you have a wound or cut until it develops into a serious infection, like gangrene.
Reduced blood flow to your feet and legs also contribute to diabetic foot problems. Without adequate nutrients from your blood, a small wound or blister may progress into an ulcer or serious infection in a matter of days.
How can I prevent diabetic foot problems? Back to top
The providers at Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Center are trained to manage diabetic feet. They educate you on steps you can take at home to care for your feet, including:
- Never walk barefoot
- Inspect your feet every day
- Examine the bottoms and side of your feet and toes
- Check for wounds, blisters, ulcers, redness, or nail problems
- Wash your feet every day but don’t soak them
- Trim your toenails straight across
- Always keep your feet warm and dry
They also recommend proper shoes to protect your feet and may prescribe custom orthotics to reduce pressure spots. Medicare covers the cost of one set of orthotic shoes per year and up to three pairs of orthotics for people with diabetes.
When should I see a doctor for diabetic foot care? Back to top
It’s important to visit the team at Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Center at least once per year for an annual diabetic foot exam. You should also schedule an appointment as soon as you notice changes to your feet, including:
- Cuts and wounds
- Nail problems
Prompt treatment of minor foot concerns reduces your risk of serious problems, like infection and amputation.
For expert diabetic foot care, call Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Center or request an appointment online today.