If you have diabetes, even small cuts or broken blisters can quickly become infected, putting your health at risk. Daily home foot exams and visits to your Reading, MA, podiatrists at New England Foot & Ankle Specialists can help you protect your feet.
What to look for during your self-exam
Daily foot examinations are a must for everyone with diabetes but are particularly important if your feet are numb due to nerve damage caused by diabetic neuropathy. Although you may not be able to feel sores, wounds, and other foot conditions, they can still cause serious health problems.
Whether you examine your feet in the morning or evening, it's important to look for these things:
- Blisters and Red Spots: Red spots and blisters are warning signs that shouldn't be ignored. If you don't take action, blisters can burst and red spots can become blisters or sores. Protect blisters with bandages, and switch to a different pair of shoes if you notice red spots or blisters.
- Broken Blisters, Cuts, and Open Sores: Sores, cuts, and broken blisters are more likely to become infected if you have diabetes. The disease interferes with your body's ability to heal itself and can slow healing. Give your Reading foot doctor a call if you notice sores or broken blisters on your feet, even if they seem minor.
- Ingrown Toenails: Infections are also more likely to occur if you have ingrown toenails. Don't attempt to free trapped nails yourself at home if you have diabetes. Cut your toenails straight across to reduce your risk of ingrown nails.
- Toenail Fungus: Toenail fungus occurs more often in people who have diabetes. Fungal infections aren't just unsightly but can jeopardize your health if they're severe. Your podiatrist can offer treatments that will keep fungus under control.
- Numbness, Tingling, and Skin Color Changes: Call the podiatrist right away if you experience numbness or tingling in your feet or you notice other changes in sensation or color. Signs to look for include hot spots on your feet, red streaks, or red, blue, white, or black skin.
Let your podiatrist know right away if you notice any changes in your feet. Prompt treatment of foot conditions will help you protect your feet and your health.
Are you concerned about a diabetic foot issue? Call your podiatrists in Reading, MA, at New England Foot and Ankle Specialist at (781) 944-4044 to schedule an appointment.