Diabetic Foot Care
People with diabetes are more likely to experience circulation issues, nerve damage (neuropathy), and other problems, generally associated with impaired blood sugar levels. The better blood sugar is managed and maintained at a healthy level, the less likely a person will experience these issues. Diabetes can be safely managed and lived with; having Diabetes does not automatically mean that a person has to have the associated health issues. The best thing anyone with Diabetes can do is work with their health care team to manage their blood glucose.
However, even with the best blood glucose management, some nerve damage and circulation issues can occur. Nerve damage is called neuropathy. This means that the nerve has been damaged to the point where the nerve impulse can’t make its way down the nerve. It’s kind of like when a train comes to a bridge that’s out. No matter how hard the train tries to cross the river, without a bridge, it can’t get to the other side.
Similarly, a nerve impulse can’t get to the other side (or down the rest of the nerve). That’s when tingling, burning, and eventually, numbness occurs. Having numb feet means that a person can’t feel things – like a pebble, splinter, or blister – and keeps walking on the problem area; the injured area keeps getting worse and worse because the person can’t feel it. And if there are circulation problems, healing can take much, much longer. These injuries turn into wounds, which can turn into much bigger and more complicated issues.
The professionals at our St. Catharines foot clinic can address the following:
- Diabetic Foot Care
- Thick and ingrown toenails
- Fungal Nails
- Corns and Callouses
On your first visit, we will conduct a professional assessment of your current foot health. Our diabetic foot care nurses will assess your overall foot health and address any concerns related to your last visit. Personalized service is one of our top priorities. We go out of the way to make sure that you’re comfortable every step of your visit.
Daily Diabetic Foot Care
Prevention is the best medicine. Diabetes.ca recommends a good daily foot-care routine and reasonable blood sugar control to keep your feet healthy. Having a foot-care kit containing nail clippers, lotion, and more in one place makes it easier to care for your feet every day. Follow this foot-care routine daily:
- Be sure to wash your feet with warm water and soap. Don’t soak them for too long, as you’ll be drying out the skin that’s there.
- Dry your feet carefully, especially between your toes.
- Check the bottoms of your feet for any cuts, blisters, or ingrown toenails. Thoroughly check between toes and make sure there are no cracks on the bottom of the foot either. Use a hand mirror if needed
- Clean cuts or scratches with mild soap and water, and cover with a dry dressing suitable for sensitive skin.
- Trim your toenails straight across and file any sharp edges. Don’t cut the nails too short.
- Apply lotion to dry skin on the heels and soles. Rub in well, then wipe off any excess that may have gathered around your feet or toes. Leaving an excessive amount of moisture between our toes can lead to infection.
- Make sure your socks are fresh and clean at all times. Wear white ones if you have a cut or sore, making the drainage easier to notice.
Keeping your blood sugar in the healthy range and going for routine checkups can help you avoid diabetes-related problems. Diabetic foot care on a regular basis can decrease your chance of developing foot issues. This way, if something goes wrong, you’ll notice it right away, allowing you to get the appropriate treatment. Good foot care habits might take time and effort to be built, but it is vital for diabetes management. Contact us to schedule an appointment.